Parents have a hard time controlling their kids in the tech-savvy modern world. With so many devices, from smartphones to tablets, the task becomes almost impossible.
Firstly, kids have access to many more various technological devices than ever before. Secondly, they know perfectly, sometimes even better than their parents, how to navigate the internet. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, parents have much less control over their children now than 30 years ago.
Most fathers and mothers are concerned about the content their kids encounter when browsing through the web. Some educate themselves by reading a parent’s online safety guide for kids. Others start a parent-child dialogue about the potential dangers of the internet.
If you, as a parent, have not taken any action to protect your kid from online threats, it is high time you did. Online safety is one of the hottest topics among concerned parents all over the world. They all want to answer a straightforward question: how do I keep my children safe while also letting them use the technology?
Banning internet use would be inappropriate and unreasonable. Kids use search engines to look for valuable information, do homework, chat with friends, and generally entertain themselves. Such actions are not only okay but also desired. Living in am ever-developing world of digital technology, a kid separated from the devices would feel alienated. That is nothing a parent wishes to do to their offspring.
You and your kids need to establish rules and find a balance to use the internet as a useful and helpful tool. Here are some tips on using parent controlling methods to make sure your child uses technology for the right purposes.
Set the Rules
A good thing to do is to sign an ‘internet contract’ with your child. It is no secret that kids need straightforward guidelines and rules to obey to function and grow properly. The same goes for the internet.
For the kids to be safe online, they need to know what they can and what they cannot do. If your child is old enough to have a valuable conversation about the rules, it would be best to sit down with them and discuss potential threats and ways to avoid them. This way, you will give voice to your offspring. He or she will feel responsible for the contract and therefore is more likely to live by it.
Some of the example rules you may suggest are:
- Hours per day of using technological devices.
- Established purposes for going online such as homework, or playing video games you both agree on.
- Who the kid can and who he cannot talk to online.
- Where to create online accounts, what kind of information to share, and how to protect it.
Make sure your child understands why these rules are essential. Otherwise, they may feel like rebelling against them.
Use a VPN
It requires choosing and purchasing the right VPN, so this advice is more on you than on your kid.
Before giving any device to your child, make sure it uses a secure internet connection, such as a virtual private network or a home WiFi. Taking that precaution will prevent you and your kid from being snooped or hacked online.
If the internet source is unsure, it is better not to use it. Should any hacker attack your kid online, the consequences may be terrible. And you cannot blame your child for that. Kids are naive and curious. If a strange man asks for their parent’s personal information, why wouldn’t they say it?
Parental Blocking Software
No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to control a kid 24/7. In case you are at work, on a meeting or at the gym, a parental blocking software is here to take over your duties. It will monitor your kid’s internet tabs and make sure they are not showing any inappropriate content. Moreover, the system will block your child’s actions if it recognized them as harmful.
Many devices, web browsers, and social media applications have built-in parental controls. Find out how they work and start using them.
However, do not underestimate the child’s intelligence. Kids are known for being very innovative and using bypass techniques. If you know your offspring is a technological whizz, you might want to consider using an external parental blocking system that will operate on the whole device, not just a single app.
There are many potential threats to your kid on the internet. If you want to use your parental controlling methods to keep your child safe online, the tips mentioned above should help you.
On the other hand, do not become an overprotective parent, as the child might feel like you are violating their privacy, and just because they are young, it does not mean they do not have one. Focus on mutual dialogue and understanding, and have some trust in your child.