Ever since the birth of the internet in 1983, it has become an integral part of our daily lives. Individuals of all ages, including kids, enjoy the entertainment, education, communication, community, and social interaction the internet makes possible. However, behind these benefits are risks people, especially children, must be protected from. This article will outline precautions parents, and other adults can take to keep their kids safe online.
Monitor the Social Media Activities of your Children
A survey carried out by ExpressVPN reveals the social media usage of children and found that about 63% of kids in the US and 53% of kids in the UK aged 4 to 13 years spend an average of 28 minutes per day on social media. This shows that social media has one of the most significant influences on young children in today’s digital age.
Although social media may be a great place for children to connect with their friends and family and enjoy some of their best forms of entertainment, it can also be a medium for cyberbullying. Children may also get exposed to the wrong visuals and experiences.
This is why parents and guardians need to monitor the social media activities of their children. This can be done by reviewing the social media sites like Facebook before allowing their use, checking their friend list, monitoring their posts and messages, and activating privacy settings that restrict their access to unwanted information.
Using Parental Controls
Parental controls are software or features within an app or device that allow you to control, restrict and monitor your children’s online activities. Most parental control software or features allow you to block certain websites and content, set time limits for using certain apps, view their browsing history and habits, and monitor their activities online.
You can find such software on app stores like Google’s play store or App Store. You can also purchase them directly from software developers. Simple research would help you find free, paid options to meet your needs.
Educate your Child about Online Safety
No matter the measure you choose to put in place to ensure that your children are safe online, education must be a priority. This is because even though you may not always have the time to watch your children’s activities and your parental control software may contain some flaws, anything you teach your children will eventually become inculcated in them.
Teaching your children how to use the internet safely and the necessary do and don’ts to observe will help them to stay conscious and aware of those threats even in your absence. Talk to them about the importance of protecting their personal information, being cautious when communicating with people online, and how to relate with strangers online. Communicate with them in a way that will be easy for them to understand and ensure they can always talk to you if they feel threatened online.
Keeping children safe online is an essential duty for parents and caregivers. Giving children healthy access to the benefits of the internet and protecting them from online threats helps us to build better adults and raise happy and healthy kids. Encourage open communication, create a safe online environment for your children, and channel their energies in the right direction by exposing them to creative and valuable resources available on the internet.
Featured Photo by Ludovic Toinel on Unsplash