Keeping kids safe is a major concern for parents and guardians. There are many different types of online and offline threats to children’s well-being. However, as each treat emerges, so too does a range of technologies to prevent these new problems. Above all it’s vital to be aware of your child’s activities so that they can use modern technologies without the dangers associated with them.
First of all it’s important to get off to a good start with your child when they are old enough to use smartphones, tablets and other devices. Explain to them that you can’t trust everyone online. Kids are told not to trust strangers in real life and the same is true when they go online.
Children today seem to learn faster than previous generations. They adapt to technology much quicker than many adults. Some adults don’t understand how technologies like the internet really work. If you are in this position it’s important to brush up on your computer skills by taking a computing course or contacting a computer professional. Ask them how they can make it safer for kids to browse the internet and interact with others online.
When children start using the latest devices, make sure you supervise them. Using the device with them in the beginning will encourage more cautious, responsible behaviour. Tell them about the importance of staying on trusted websites and not getting tricked in to clicking links that send users to questionable content and users.
Responsible behaviour is not confined to the websites you visit. As children get older they want to interact with others more online. Social media websites and similar websites promote conversation, comments and the sharing of images, videos and other content. Make sure your child understands the consequences of commenting and adding content to the internet. Never let them add personal material, questionable material or make hurtful or irresponsible comments that could affect other people. The internet has a long memory and content you publish can’t be easily removed.
Make sure younger kids do not access the internet unaccompanied. This is a recipe for disaster because younger kids don’t realise the implications of their actions when they are online. You may use devices for shopping for household products, portable vaporizer products or other items but you don’t want kids to be able to login to these webpages and ecommerce stores you use.
Setup some kind of system, whereby younger users can’t get access to the internet without your approval. For example, don’t let kids automatically connect to broadband in the home. Instead, keep the access code safe and tell them to ask you or another adult to enter the code every time they want to go online.
When kids are online make sure they are using the internet in an easy to monitor area of the home. Never let them surf the net alone in their bedroom.
It’s inevitable that children will become part of various social media groups. Initially, become part of these groups so that you can monitor the interactions and activities your child is involved in. It’s easy for users to disguise themselves online. If you see any unusual activity report it and stop your child from using the particular service until you know it’s safe or tell your child to stop using the website altogether.
More kids than ever have a smart phone. There are many benefits and disadvantages to this technology. On the positive side, it’s easier to keep track of kids thanks to geo location features which can be used in emergencies. Panic button apps are also available if something goes wrong. However, Smartphones can easily access the internet and it’s not always easy to monitor Smartphone activity. Child safety Android and iPhone apps are available on the Google Play store and Apple store that make it easier to monitor mobile activities of kids.
Parents need to be more cautious than ever before. In the past they only had to deal with local problems that could affect a child’s safety. The internet however opens up a whole new range of issues concerning child safety from all parts of the world. Proper education about these dangers and using the latest technologies to protect your child will help avoid many of the problems that can take place.