It’s no secret that the Internet has a side that is not kid-friendly, and with kids spending an increasing amount of time on phones, iPads, and laptops surfing the net, it’s all too easy for them to stumble upon sites or information they should not see or know. The only way to prevent this is by monitoring what they surf and make sure they practice safe surfing.
Here are some of the most effective ways to keep kids safe on the Internet.
- Use Adult Blocker extension or block certain websites
If you use Google Chrome as a browser, you can download an extension called Adult Blocker that blocks certain websites that are not suitable for kids and may have adult content, like pornography sites. The extension scans the sites for any bad words or phrases and will block entry to that website if it finds any such content.
For other browsers, there are various ways to block websites as well. You can manually do it yourself by going to Privacy Settings or download extensions like the Adult Blocker.
- Enable Parental Control in every possible device
Today, a majority of the broadband services we use at home or any other Internet-accessing devices we use almost daily, like smartphones, iPads, laptops, smart TV and gaming consoles have the Parental Control feature. All you have to do is switch it on. Depending on which broadband or device you use, you can Google how to enable this feature.
You can even ask your kids to befriend you or follow you or allow you to follow them on social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Snapchat to make sure they do not post or make undesirable comments. If they do not agree with this or have some things they do not want you to see, it probably is not something the public should see.
- Be with them while they use the Internet
Even tech giant parents in Silicon Valley find it difficult to monitor their kids’ every movement online. And one extremely effective rule they have been practicing is that electronic devices with Internet access should be used only in the halls and living areas where parents are also present, and bedrooms have been made completely device-free.
This gives children the freedom to enjoy and entertain themselves using the Internet, like playing games, watching videos, going through social media and chatting with their friends, but it also gives parents the power to check what their kids are doing from time to time without making them feel like they are intruding.
- Limit screen time inside the house
Remember that too much screen time not only increases the chances of your children stumbling upon or purposely accessing harmful sites, it is also not healthy. So, always make sure you give kids a time limit as to how long they can spend time on the phone, iPad or laptop.
Both parents and children must agree on a fair amount of screen time. Be reasonable, and don’t simply impose an insensibly short amount of time.
- Have a talk with them regarding privacy on the Internet
It’s extremely useful to have a mature, serious discussion with your children regarding privacy and security on the Internet and how easily they can be compromised. The earlier they learn it, the better, because, nowadays, children as young as 3 years old know how to use smartphones and iPads.
Educate your kids on the dangers of talking to strangers online, how pictures can be spread around or leaked, even on Snapchat by taking screenshots. Tell them not to open emails from unknown people, not to engage in cyber-bullying, and if they do fall victim to cyber-bullying, ask them to tell you first thing.