From monitoring their health to teaching them self-defense, we fight to keep our kids safe every day. But what about online? With high-speed internet, children have access to a whole world of content at the click of a button. It can be difficult to keep tabs on the content they’re viewing as more devices become mobile. Luckily, there are ways to keep your child out of danger. Here are the internet tips you should know to keep your kids safe.
Setting Parental Controls
Worried about what your kids are searching on the web? Consider viewing their browser history. This can provide insight into which sites they visited at what specific times. Browsing history is visible unless deleted so make sure your child doesn’t clear the data before you see it. Likewise, more than 70% of children hide their online behavior from their parents. As a best practice, don’t rely solely on browser history to supervise their activity. The best way to protect your child online is by setting parental controls. In the device settings, you can grant site access and daily screen time privileges. Activity reports may also be available depending on the device. Since devices may have different controls, take the time to learn about what settings are available to you.
Long gone are the days of driving to a store to buy the latest video game. With high-speed internet, games live online and can be downloaded in as little as 3 minutes. Not to mention, fast internet service is 100 times faster than traditional broadband. This means that gaming experiences are becoming more seamless and lag-free. With this convenience comes less supervision of the games your children are purchasing. To keep the power in your hands, conceal your credit card information. By doing so, you’ll be summoned each time your child wants to buy a new game, giving you a chance to investigate it first. Be aware that many games offer in-game purchases. As a result, your child could purchase an extra life or unlock a new level by charging your credit card. Last year, gamers spent an average of $85 on in-app purchases. Take some time before your child starts playing to disable auto-charge if possible. This will save you from surprise charges and keep your children playing responsibly.
Explaining Online Social Protocol
Everyone learns to stay away from strangers, but what about on the internet? The same rules apply. With no face to a name or voice, you don’t know who is on the other side of the screen. That said, more than 16% of teens considered meeting up with a stranger they met online. Start conversations with your children about appropriate online behavior. Be it the way they talk with friends or strangers, it’s crucial that you set boundaries to keep them safe. By starting an open conversation, your child feels more inclined to approach you if something suspicious does arise. Make sure you remind them to not give out personal information online either. Dealing with breached accounts and stolen identities are not a walk in the park.
The world-wide web is only as powerful as you let it be. By setting restrictions, creating conversations about appropriate behavior, and maintaining authority over purchasing power, you can keep your kids safe on the internet.