Every parent wants their child to be safe all the time, and we do everything we can to keep them secure and well. From holding their hands when crossing the street to keeping them safe on the playground, we always take care of them. Today, as we are living in technology laden environment, where kids are exposed to technology and internet quite early in life, parents also need to shield their kids from online hazards, trackers, and inappropriate content on the web. So, here are 5 Important Things You Need to Know about Your Kids Safety on the Internet.
5 Important Things You Need to Know about Your Kids Safety on the Internet
1. Keep all devices and screens where you can see them
There is no excuse for your child to have a PC in his/her room. Do not allow them to take their mobile phones/cell phones, iPods, and iPads to bed with them. This is one way you can protect your kid from becoming a victim of a new disease of the 21st century, a digital disease that is also known as a Nomophobia. So, you need to watch for them and make sure all devices are in a visible place. Instead of that, you can read books to them before bedtime, until they’re old enough to learn how to read alone. It is good for them to adopt reading habits when they are young because they’re going to be exposed to various devices and gadgets as they’re getting older.
2. Decide how much time your kid can spend at the PC
Track your children’s time on the web, especially when it comes to younger kids. It is very important to limit their time at the computer because too much of it can cause a negative effect on their development altogether. You can set your Wi-Fi parameters so that passwords are not saved on your kids’ cell phones. That way, they’ll have to ask you when they want to go online. When It comes to very young children, toddlers, they shouldn’t spend time in front of the PC, to ensure their healthy social and physical development. We already know that television has a negative effect on kids, particularly during the first two years of their life.
For older children, one-two hours of screen time per day is quite enough. The best solution here is to take them out to the park or start doing activities in nature, so they can properly develop and spend time with other kids. Also, as explained by childcare experts from a British governess agency, parents who leave their kids with nannies need to pay special attention to their online security. In other words, nannies and childcare professionals also need to know how to protect your kids on the Web.
The most beautiful part of childhood are games and imagination. They wouldn’t have this if they spent hours and hours in front of the TV or PC. Here are some tips you can also use to limit their screen time.
3. Install antivirus protection to your computer
You should never save money at the expense of your children’s welfare or protection. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, here are a few suggestions for a good antivirus program: McAfee, Norton LifeLock, Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Webroot, ESET. Prices vary, ranging from $15 to $70 per year. You can install some free antivirus tools, as well, like Avira, Panda, and Sophos. They are free for 30 days, and then your trial version will expire. But, as we have said, better be safe than sorry. Choose only the best ones for your loved ones.
You can get parental control software tools, as well. Their prices range from $20 to $100. For inappropriate content, you can turn on SafeSearch on kids’ devices. That will filter out the most unsuitable things. Many parental control apps can limit what applications your kid uses, as well.
4. Talk to your kid about dangers, scams, and unsuitable things on the internet
Communication is the key when it comes to any relationship. Sit with your child introduce them to the basics of computers, how your antivirus program works, what are possible scams and dangers that they might be exposed to, and how to react. You need to leave an impression of a reasonable person they can talk to anytime, about everything related to computers or any other device. Teach them not to share any personal data with strangers or anybody they don’t want to. Explain to them that not all people have good intentions. Simply talk to them all the time and teach them how to use computers in a secure way.
5. Hang out with your kid online
I got my first computer when I was 15, and, in my opinion, I’m sure it’s a good thing that I didn’t have it earlier. The situation today is different because we cannot imagine life without internet. We have smartphones, iPhones, and other new devices. We need to stay aware of the world and all new technologies that come with it. Earlier, when I was younger, kids used to spend days outside. They played in the park or spent time in the schoolyard playing football. In a nutshell, they were full of vivid ideas. There are plenty of ideas for various games to explore together with your kids on the internet. That way, you will keep discovering the online world shoulder to shoulder.
People are suspicious and afraid of new technology and new stuff that comes within, especially when their kids are involved. We must agree that many things are easier with the internet. You can pay bills, send money, buy whatever you want, and much more. Our kids now live in a new age and we have to keep up with all new trends. Be constantly up to date with them, teach them how to use modern technology in a proper way, and try to keep them close to yourself. Spend every moment together when they are little, because when they grow up you will miss those things a lot. If you apply such a parenthood method, you’ll keep your kids both safe online and self-confident offline.
Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time, she likes reading about education, and children’s welfare, as well as visiting sports events.