Growing children have growing demands and some of that comes down to technology and how to access it. For many parents, knowing what is appropriate for children to access on the internet comes down to basic common sense. However, children today seem to be so savvy about technology and being online that some parents do feel a little left behind. The trouble is that, for all their confidence about inhabiting an online world, children are still children and they need to be protected. So, what are the best things adults can do to make sure their little ones are safe when they take their first steps into the online world?
Set Up Parental Controls
Your internet service provider may be able to provide you with parental controls which filter content so that you can rest a bit easier when your children head online, if you are not there to supervise them at every moment. However, this is not always the best option for mobile technology, where kids can stream content via another internet connection, thus avoiding the home WiFi. For tablets and laptops, set up the parental controls in the operating system. For Windows users who have recently upgraded to version 10, for example, everything you need to do is relatively simple to follow. There are similar controls that can be set for iPads and so on. Once a child’s profile has been set up, inappropriate content should not appear. Remember that even if it is not searched for, you don’t want children seeing some of things that pop up on screen. Parental controls are the best first step in keeping kids safe from accidentally browsed content.
Use Websites Aimed at Kids
When children are taking their first steps online, the ability to discover and head off in new directions is one of the things kids will benefit from the most. Web browsing is all about choice, right? Therefore, choose a website like CBeebies or Marvel Kids where all of the content is child-oriented. If you look at the games, activities and videos at Marvel Kids, for instance, you’ll soon get the idea that children can explore freely but not head off to an inappropriate site accidentally. Compare that with YouTube, for example, where there is plenty of material aimed at kids, but where they can soon get out of their depth just by following suggested links.
Communicate With Your Children
According to the NSPCC, simply by talking to children about what they are doing online helps them to remain safe. Discussing the potential problems – without worrying them – is really all about equipping them to handle issues as they come up and to avoid the pitfalls. Okay, so this may need to be taken carefully with younger ones, but when children get older and start to enter the world of social media, they need to be able to deal with others they meet just as they would in the real world. There are dangers out there, but it should be said that most online social activity is perfectly benign. Children can learn, get help with homework and even get in contact with family members through technology, so emphasise the positives. Nevertheless, by being open with children about potential problems of having a social media profile, you are really helping them to stay safe.
Disclaimer:- This is a featured post, one I feel useful in giving information about keeping children safe online