Gone are the days when children can find ingenious ways of amusing themselves. It’s not very often you see kids plating hide and seek or other childs games.
Nowadays if it isn’t enjoment on the internet, it isn’t emjoyment at all. Kids of today can navigate to social media sites or YouTube without any assistance from their parents.
Parents have become faced with a much larger challenge of looking after their children. What used to be a scuffed knee or a grazed elbow has now turned into adult content and online prowlers and bullying to contend with.
The internet is an integral part of everyone’s life, yet this doesn’t mean we have to stop looking at ways to protect our children while they are online.
Here are seven ways that all parents can use to help protect their children from many major threats they are continually faced with:
1. Parental Controls
These can be set on whatever device that your child uses, be it a PC with Microsoft Windows, an iPhone or iPad or an Android phone, you are able to set limitations. Windows has in built family safety features.
You can set a separate account for your children where than can be limited in hours of usage, what games can run and child safe browsing. All of these features produce activity reports enabling you to see what your child is viewing.
Later versions of Apples Mac OS and iOS also offer the same sort of parental controls. On iOS though, things are a little different, and the controls are under “Restrictions” where you can block apps and block users from performing specific tasks.
Android is slightly different and doesn’t have built in parental controls. What you would have to do is remove applications you don’t wish your child to use and set content filtering in the Google Play Store app, this limits what apps can be downloaded an used.
A great VPN service can protect your children no matter where they are accessing the internet. Public Wi-Fi’s although conveniant are also the worst places children can connect.
These are ideal places for a person with the know how to steal private information about your children.
These VPN’s can be used on any device. There are many available from free options to paid options.
You do get what you pay for, so a free one may be ideal as a stop gap, yet to get all the features that give you peace of mind you might decide a paid VPN service is worth it.
Good anti-virus software can protect your child no end while they are online. There is no end of attacks that are presented to children without them understanding.
Programs can be installed that are not legitimate and contain code that runs in the background and captures information on the device in use.
Many of these packages are now coming with extra features which include more online privacy and managing your child’s location if being used on a mobile device.
Malware is in the same vein as viruses and can capture private information from your child’s device. These hidden programs can log keystrokes, spyware that watches what your child is doing and worse.
4. Online Chat
There are no programs that protect your child in online chat safety, yet there are software accountability programs that can log what your child makes inside third party applications.
A lot of what happens in the online chat is down to education from the parent’s side. Children need to be educated that they shouldn’t talk to anyone who they don’t know in person.
Even if this person has pictures, they might not be the person whom they are chatting to. Most of all, they should never arrange to meet a person if they are outside their circle of friends.
5. Child Safe Browsers
There are many browsers availbale now that offer safe browsing. If you are worried that your child is open to threats you can install one of these and lock access to the others on their device.
These can with block adverts, have a VPN built in and have safe search capabilities. Some browsers also come as a part of accountability software packages that will inform you should the device be tampeed with to bypass the browser or what your child has attempted to search for.
6. Web Filtering
These can be included as part of an overall home security solution. As soon as there is a request for a webpage that falls within a set of rules that are created, the page will be blocked from being displayed.
There are even web filtering solutions that can be installed on your router, this prevents any content that is deemed as damaging from reaching any device that connects to your home network.
No matter what restrictions you put in place, your child will either find away, or they can be open to being unprotected while online.
Parental education can be one of the best forms of protection as long as your child doesn’t see it as you infringing on their privacy.
A parent should explain all about sex offenders and how they operate, inaprpriate content and images, bullying and abuse.
With the upsurge in social media, your child should be taught how to ignore rather than just accepting everyone who makes a friend request.