Keeping up with new and ever-changing technology can be a challenge for parents, but it seems that it is completely natural for children. Concerned parents may try to block children from doing certain things online, but kids will often resist, and parents may be concerned that their children can outwit them when to comes to the digital world. Here are some tips for keeping kids safe online, both at home and on smartphones.
On the Home Computer
· One of the easiest ways to know what children are doing online and to keep their activities public is to place home computers in a public location, such as a living room or shared office space.
· Interact with children online. Most kids will say it isn't cool to be friends with their parents in online social networks, but doing so allows you to monitor their public activities in these areas. It can also be a challenge for some parents to use more kid-friendly social media sites, but checking in occasionally is worth the effort.
· Use parental controls. Many operating systems, like Windows 7, have built in parental controls that make it easy to limit a child's use of the computer. Anti-virus and other protection software will also have parental controls built in.
· It can be harder to monitor children's use of phones, but having an open relationship with your children will allow them to trust you, and talking with them about appropriate and inappropriate things to do online, andbuild trust so they follow your advice. Create an environment that fosters honesty between you and your child.
· Just like with desktop computers, many apps are available to monitor children's internet usage or block inappropriate websites. Use parental apps to monitor or limit your child's internet access on mobile devices.
· Choose phones wisely. Some children may be too young or immature for a phone at all, and others should be allowed phones, but shouldn't be given smartphones. Make sure your child is old and mature enough to make wise decisions on their own regarding smartphone usage.
Unfortunately there's not anything you can do that's absolutely guaranteed to keep children safe, however, parental control software is quite advanced, and offers a great deal of protection. Most important is your relationship with your children, so creating an honest and open relationship is absolutely essential, and will make up the difference when control software might fall short of your expectations.
Melisa Cammack has been freelance writing for a number of years, and particularly loves to write parenting and technological articles. She is the mother of three young boys with one little girl on the way, and wife to one loving husband.
Melisa writes for Bell Internet, and would like to encourage parents to educate themselves on ever-changing technology.