In 2018 technology plays a big part in a child’s life as they grow up, but although there are many fun aspects involved, the dangers should also not go unnoticed. Research shows that 47% of parents admit to being worried about how much of their children’s day is spent online and their lack of control. Here are a few simple ways to ensure your child is kept safe while using the magical world of the internet.
First things first, once you understand the risks yourself it’s essential you regularly bring this topic up in conversation with your child even from an early age. That way you can ensure they become familiar speaking about the internet, therefore they will feel more comfortable sharing any concerns they have now or in the future. Build up a relationship where they feel reassured to always ask your advice when necessary. Encouragement to speak out is key.
2. Be in Control
Whether it be to access apps, games or tv shows, install parental controls on your home broadband before letting your child use a laptop or other device. This will enable you to manage and restrict the content which is being viewed online by your little ones. Safe-search settings can also be activated on search engines specifically too which is a great tool to make use of. Certain sites will be filtered and consequently restricted from the results. This is available across all devices from mobile phones to tablets to games consoles – not just the standard computer. What’s more, if you are concerned about random purchases being made online or unapproved interactions taking place, then turn on ‘airplane mode’ to restrict these actions.
Encourage devices to be used in the presence of you and your family such as in the kitchen or living room rather than being hidden up in their bedroom. Everyone can join in the fun, while also allowing you to keep an eye on their activity online. Setting time restrictions can also be a useful strategy.
4. Learn Through Play
A perfect tool to raise awareness are educational online games which cover the potential dangers of the internet in a fun child friendly format. There are many safe options which can be explored free of charge. If you feel your explanation hasn’t quite sunk in, sometimes interactive videos and puzzles are the best way for a child to gain an understanding of how to keep their online experiences fun.
5. Locked with a Key
If you choose to not have parental controls on all devices within your home. Ensure laptops belonging to parents or older siblings are protected with a strong password your younger children will not be able to guess. That way easy access is completely prohibited.