Parents want to keep their kids safe and towards this end, they baby proof the house to protect them from injuries and accidents. In the good old days gone by, parents even regulated how much time their young ones spent in front of the TV and which programs they watched. Technology, particularly the internet and smartphones, as good and convenient as they are, have brought unprecedented safety issues that parents must deal with.
Since it is almost impossible to stop our children from using digital electronic devices, it is of crucial importance for parents to extend their vigilance to the digital space. Digital parenting, if you like.
Parents need to know what their children are doing while online, whom they are interacting with, what kind of information they have access to, and so on.
In addition to the common parenting tips dished out at parent guide, parents also need to take the extra measures to protect their children online. You need to learn new tips to keep kids safe online.
Some of the biggest players in the internet business have scaled up their efforts in keeping children safe while using the internet. Google, for example, has Be Internet Awesome, which in addition to teaching children digital skills also equips them with skills for internet safety.
It seeks to teach kids to be internet smart, be careful about what they share online, resist online bullies and be brave enough to speak out when they have disturbing encounters on the internet.
With an explosion of free apps for both Android and iOS users, it is difficult to keep up with which application your teenage kids are downloading. Some are games; others are meant to help them organize their schedules. There is an app for almost everything these days.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to know which ones are appropriate for your kids and which ones are not. Some are very addictive and may not be age-appropriate for them. So how do you go about this?
Have a conversation
It is important to have a candid conversation with your children and let them know the dangers that lurk on the internet. Educate them on ways to keep themselves safe and to report any incidents of bullying or inappropriate comments made about their looks or personality. Tell them that under no circumstances should they arrange private meetings with people they meet on the internet.
Create a conducive environment at home where your kids are free to discuss with you what they do on the internet. Teach them the limits they should go when giving their personal information on the internet.
There is numerous control you can put in place to keep your kids safe on the internet. First, you can regulate the time your children spend on the computer and their phones. You protect them from smartphone addiction, which is now a thing, by controlling how much they spend on their smartphones.
Secondly, set your home internet settings to block inappropriate content. Finally, there a number of mobile phone applications that can be installed to monitor device usage.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.