Holistic Learning and Development
How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online?
Is it impossible to keep tech-savvy teens safe online? A recent McAfee survey shows that 70% of teens hide online behavior from parents.Some of the things kids are hiding includes violence and porn. Some teens also reported lying, cheating, stealing, h
Is it impossible to keep tech-savvy teens safe online? A recent McAfee survey shows that 70% of teens hide online behavior from parents.
Some of the things kids are hiding includes violence and porn. Some teens also reported lying, cheating, stealing, hacking, sharing unwanted photos and even cyberbullying. The cold truth is, are we failing in raising our kids in the right way in this digital age. Are we making sure they are safe online? Certainly this is the Digital Age, one as parents can deny this fact. But if you set up a safety gate or put plugs on outlets for your children when they were toddlers, then you can set up tech safeguards as well. Here are three things you can do to make sure your kids stay safe online.
1. Set Up Parental Controls on Your Devices
At first kids would toy with your phones but now they own one. Just take a few minutes to set up parental controls on computers, smartphones, tablets and gaming systems and everywhere your ward has online access.
Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, and smart-everythings today have settings or apps that with just three to five steps let you "set and forget" a list of filters. You can password-protect your settings, too, so that your kids can't (easily) outsmart you and undo them. Here's a quick and dirty guide to setting up filters fast on mobile devices.
iPhone and iPad: Settings > General > Restrictions > Switch "On/Off" down the list for content, games, web browsing and everything else you want to restrict.
Android: Google Play Store > Menu > Settings > User Controls > Content Filtering. Tick any of the boxes next to the ratings listed above that you think are appropriate.
Windows: Start (or Windows) button > Control Panel > User Accounts > Family Safety > Parental Controls. You can create new accounts for each teen, set time limits and control games and content.
Mac: Apple button > System Preferences > Parental Controls. You can create accounts for each teen, set time limits and control games and content.
When it comes to surfing the web, browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer have an Internet options folder where you can easily set up security safeguards and content filters for language, nudity, sex and violence. Again, this only takes about five minutes to do.
Chrome: Google Preferences Page > SafeSearch Filtering > Save Preferences
Internet Explorer: Tools > Menu Bar > Content Advisor > Enable. Select the web content categories you're looking to restrict (sex, drugs, nudity or foul language).
(Please Note : Let us remind you, As parents don't use this to Spy or Keep a Check on your child.. Do it, only to protect your child.)
2. Install Surveillance Software
The next level of protection is surveillance - with the understanding that you're using these tools to protect, inform and empower your kids, not to spy on them. After all, teens need to learn about the trust, respect and privacy that comes with growing up. This isn't about setting up traps or trying to catch them doing something bad. It's a way to make sure they're safe. There is world full of knowledge easily available online, let them learn it.
One of the best free filters is K9 Web Protection. It blocks sites in more than 70 categories, including pornography, gambling, drugs, violence/hate/racism, malware/spyware and phishing. Among paid services, we recommend Net Nanny, Safe Eyes and SafetyWeb.
These services help you to monitor their activity, get alerts and set up time controls.
3. Be in Control : Communicate with your Child.
You've likely heard this before, but have a heart-to-heart communication about the rules of cyber-conduct. Keep your tone positive, and let them know this is about keeping them safe, which is your job as a parent.
Print out, sign and post a family Internet rules, expectations and consequences should be clear. And if this help you can move computers, phones, handheld gaming devices and all other internet-connected gadgets out of their bedrooms and into a common area of your house.
If your child turns the monitor off or changes the screen when you come into the room, that's a red flag that it's time for another chat with your kid.
Used correctly, these tools are teen tamper-proof, and your kids can't turn them off without your knowing about it. Now sadly, are likely to hear grief from time to time that you're ruining their lives or interfering in their private life. But stay strong, modern moms and dads. It's our job to protect our kids online and off, and it's our responsibility to ultimately teach them how to protect themselves.
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