Kids and adults alike love spending time on-line. As our lives become more digital, social media and the internet has become the place where we socialise, educate and even entertain ourselves. There are so many things that are great about the world wide web but there are also things that should cause all parents to take the necessary precautions. With 1 in 4 children reporting to have been exposed to explicit images and inappropriate conversations online, it’ more necessary than ever before to take proactive steps to keep your child safe when browsing the internet.
More and more healthcare professionals are advising adults to limit the time that children spend on the computer. Encourage your child to get outside and play. After all, if you limit your child’s time online, it will decrease the chance of them visiting websites the shouldn’t be or start talking to someone who wishes them harm.Be open and honest with your child about your concerns and decide with them how many hours a day they are allowed in front of the screen.
Check Their Browser History
Make a habit of checking your child’s browser history daily. All electronic devices that have a browser such as iPads, smartphones and laptops are equipped with this feature and it only takes a few clicks. Know your kid has been online but there’s no browser history? Then they may have erased it. Sit down and have a conversation and ask your child why this may be the case and implement parental supervised browsing time if necessary.
Know Device Passwords
Be transparent with your children and let them know that you will need to have access to the passwords for all of their devices. This can even include password access to their social media profiles and email accounts. Check in on these regularly to see what your child might be posting, what they’re looking at and who they are exchanging messages with.
Despite your best efforts, there may come the day where your child accidentally ( or not) stumbles upon something concerning. Use this as a learning experience for your child and explain to them that there are bad things on the internet that are not suitable for children and that you only have their safety and best interests at heart. Reiterate to them what to do if such an issue arises again and reassure them that they are not in trouble and why certain things are not appropriate to seek out.
The first line of defence in protecting your children from online threats is online monitoring software. While it may seem extreme, it can be the most fail safe way of ensuring that you and your family have nothing to worry about when it comes to online safety. Try it out and download the correct programme to all household devices, for real peace of mind.