Keeping your kids safe online seems to be a game of whack-a-mole. Whenever you think one danger is under control, another pops up somewhere else. The risks are real and abundant, but there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your kids safe while they explore the digital world. If your child is old enough to have their own social media account, make sure they create an age-appropriate username and password that they won’t forget. If they’re not at that age yet, get them started on a social media site sooner rather than later by creating an account for them with appropriate privacy settings so that only people you approve can see it. This blog post will cover 10 tips for keeping your kid safe on the internet.
Secure your network
If you have a smart home network, lock it down. If there are any holes, hackers can gain access to your network and use your devices to do anything from stealing your information, taking over your other devices (like your TV or router), and launching attacks on others on the web. You’ll want to change your admin password on your router, use a strong and unique password, and use a firewall to block any malicious traffic. You can also use a virtual private network (VPN) to help secure your network. This encrypts all traffic coming into and out of your home, keeping prying eyes out of anything that shouldn’t be there. And even if someone does get in, they’ll only find encrypted data.
Use a VPN
As mentioned above, a virtual private network (VPN) is a great way to secure your network. But, it can do so much more than that. Many VPNs have special features for kids. For example, SurfEasy’s Kid-Safe feature is a VPN with a built-in tracker, parental control, and content filter. These features help keep your kids safe online by blocking ads, tracking, and inappropriate content. Other VPNs like Maintun’s Safe Kids VPN and CyberGhost have similar kid-friendly features. Aside from keeping your kids safe online, a VPN can also help you avoid censorship when travelling overseas; keep your data safe on public WiFi, and prevent your internet service provider from throttling your connection due to high data usage. The only downside is that VPNs can slow down your connection a bit.
Set online restrictions
Kids aren’t happy about this, but setting online restrictions is the best way to control what your kids can see online. Kids can be smart, so you’ll want to ensure the restrictions are complex for them to get around. You can use parental control software to block certain websites and control how much time your kids spend on their devices. You can set up authentication questions to make it so only your child can log into their devices with their own accounts. You can also use filters to block inappropriate websites and content.
Use monitoring software
You don’t have to rely solely on parental control software to keep your children safe online. Plenty of online monitoring services can let you know what your kids are up to. These services allow you to monitor your kids’ texts, emails, social media accounts, and phone calls. You can also set up alerts that will let you know if your kid’s account has been accessed or if they have been communicating with an inappropriate person. Some services even allow you to log into your child’s account and post as them. You might feel like an online stalker, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Set time limits
Kids need time to unplug and enjoy the real world too. If your kids are still too young for monitoring software, you might consider setting time limits for their devices. You can do this on their devices or set parental control software on your router to block internet access after a specific time at night. You can also set daily time limits for particular websites. For younger kids, you can set scheduled internet times. This will let them know when they can use the internet and when they can’t. This will help them learn to regulate their time, as well as give them a chance to explore the real world too.
Use browser plug-ins
Browser plug-ins are like built-in ad blockers. This will help keep your kids safe online by blocking any ads that are inappropriate or that try to install malicious software. You can also use plug-ins to block certain websites. This can keep your kids safe by preventing them from visiting websites that might contain inappropriate content. Be cautious when blocking sites, though. You don’t want to block legitimate websites to which your kids need access. You also don’t want to scare your kids away from using the internet. This can make your kids feel like the internet is a scary place.
Turn on the browser’s built-in ad blocker
Some browsers come with built-in ad blockers. You can turn this function on to help keep your kids safe and protect them from malware that might come from ads. You can also set parental controls in your browser to block certain websites or set time restrictions for when your kids can use the internet.
Talk to your kids about what makes people trustworthy
As your children grow up, they’ll have to navigate a world full of false friendships and dangerous people. This can make it difficult to know who they can trust and who they should avoid. You can help your kids by teaching them how to spot a trustworthy person and warning them about the dangers of online predators. You can start by reminding your kids that they shouldn’t accept friend requests from people they don’t know. They should also be cautious about posting their location and sharing too much personal information online.
Show your children what acceptable online behaviour is
Kids are sponges, and they will mimic the behaviour they see. You have to model positive online behaviour if you want your kids to have positive online experiences. You’ll want to avoid being overly critical while browsing the web. You also don’t want to be rude or disrespectful online. You’ll also want to set rules for your kids’ online communities. You can set up rules for gaming communities and social media groups. This can help keep your kids safe while they explore these online communities.
Talk to them about the dangers in an age appropriate way
As your kids age, it’s essential to talk to them about the dangers lurking online. You’ll want to start by familiarising yourself with the various threats out there so you can be prepared to answer your kids’ questions. Predators are a real danger online and can come in many forms. It’s important to teach your kids to be careful who they talk to online. Reminding them not to share too much personal information is also essential. You should also talk to your kids about how to protect themselves online in a way they can understand.
Keeping your kids safe online is a constant battle. The risks are real, but there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your kids safe while they explore the digital world. Secure your internet network, use a VPN, set online restrictions, use monitoring software, set time limits, use browser plug-ins, turn your browser’s ad blocker on, talk to your kids about what makes people trustworthy, show your kids acceptable online behaviour, and talk to your kids about the dangers in an age-appropriate way. These 10 tips will help protect your children from online threats while teaching them valuable lessons.