We are living in an internet-driven society. While you are reading this article, your 3-year old may be tapping here and there on the smartphone. Yeah, even the toddlers are accustomed with the touches and taps on the smart screen.
Do you leave your kids alone with smartphones or computers with active internet connection? If you say yes, I am sorry to say you are making a big mistake. Sure, your kid may be an expert in dealing with gadgets. Yet, he/she isn’t aware of the countless traps in the information super highway (internet), waiting to tackle him/her down.
I get it! You are not equipped with the skills to effectively work with the internet. Maybe, you don’t even have a single security measure to keep danger at bay. Don’t worry! In this article, you are going to get a handful of internet security tips for your children. Use them and keep your child safe.
Internet safety tips for kids & their parents
The internet scams find no boundaries. Every now and then, a new one pops out, may it be ransomware, adware, malware, or internet banking frauds. As fairly new to the world, your child doesn’t know the possible pits one may slip their leg into. Being indifferent to the technology, you may not either. So, here is how you can keep your child safe from online fraudulent activities.
Set up Different Accounts for Your Kids on Computer
You may be busy in the daily chores that you get no time to sit with your kid while they use your computer. Yes, not every parent can do that. One of the non-technical solution to this problem is to lock up your system with a possibly unbreakable password. You can prevent your child from accessing the computer by doing so.
What if they need to use the internet say for study purposes when you are not in home? Well, you can then setup different accounts for your kids.
If you have a Windows 10 OS, you can follow the steps given below (For other windows versions, please check Microsoft’s official website).
- Go to Settings
- Manage Accounts
- Add a family member
- Choose “Add a child” Option
- Confirm the details, and you’re set
You can also allot a time limit for computer usage. Microsoft has another feature that helps you filter out online content to decide what to hide from your child. You can see more tips for Windows PC here.
Apple’s macOs is also rich with parental controls. You can create a new account with your provision.
- Go to Apple menu
- System preferences
- Choose ‘Parental Controls’ for New Account field
- Select Age
- Fill necessary fields
- Click on Create User
There you go! You can also set up parental controls for existing accounts as well.
Set up Separate Accounts on Mobiles and Tablets
Computers seem to be an outdated fascination for kids. They are completely head over heels for mobile phones. You know how confined their mindset becomes when their complete focus goes to digital screens. At times, they may encounter with content they shouldn’t have consumed.
That’s why you must create separate accounts for your kids on small screens too. I have tried adding a new Google account to an already setup Android device. However, it turned tiresome than I expected (you will have to remove the existing account to get this method to work efficiently). So, I don’t recommend doing that. Instead, you can use the Guest mode available on most of the modern day smartphones.
Another way I recommend is to install Kids Place launcher. It is an Android launcher for parents who wants to control the activities of their kids on smartphones. You can limit access to certain apps, set time limit for usage, block purchase options on Google Play, disable wireless signals and a lot more. They have both free and premium versions available on the store.
Create a New Email Account for Your Kid
Once your kid dives into the world of games and social media, he wants to try them all. Based on the etiquettes you have taught him, he will ask you before taking the next step. As an ideal parent, you shouldn’t protest straightaway. First, you can advise them on the ill-effects of the internet and tell them the stories of how people bankrupt, died, and lost credibility.
Yeah it is a simple online kid safety tip for parents I admit. I still believe in it because you will not have to sacrifice your credentials, bank account details, etc.
Finally, you can create accounts for your kids. Yeah, just don’t allow them to do so. Until you think they need the privacy, you have to guide them. So, create a new email account and dedicate it for all his social accounts. Do not share the password with your kid. By the time he turns 13+, you can give the password as a birthday gift (how sweet will that be) indicating the notion of giving them the key to their privacy.
When you create social media accounts for your kids, don’t forget to follow the next tip.
Set Privacy Control Options on Their Social Media Accounts
Your kid is new to the social media world. Without rambling around for a fair bit of time, they can’t encounter with the privacy options. Even when they do so, I don’t think they show interest in enabling them. The natural curiosity in children doesn’t want any hindrance.
Let’s look at the privacy options on the major social media websites. Owing to the numerous options you can delve into, I am only giving you the official links.
Besides enabling these options, you have to tell them not to befriend any strangers.
You can get parental controls and some extra features to protect your child online by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Install Kid-Centric Applications
For every need, there is an app. As foolish as it may sound, you can install an application which calculate the height on throwing the phone upward. Instead of spending your time fruitlessly on good-for-nothing applications, why don’t you install some kid-centric ones?
Maxthon has a kid-safe browser you can install on your computer. Not to mention, your kid only see what he is supposed to see. Zoodle is another desktop application to help your kid learn through play-way method.
I have already gave you Kids Place, which is a launcher for Android phones to supervise kids. If you are interested in similar applications, you can check this list from TechRadar.
You can also promote kid-friendly search engines. A few of them are given below.
Supervise the Web Browsers
Do you know you can supervise the web browsers? By implementing a few changes in the settings, you can build a great wall for your computer. From browser to browser, the steps needed may subject to change.
First thing you can do is to setup Google safe search to filter out the explicit results. As you just read above, the procedure differ in various browsers.
One of the efficient method is remove Google from the default search box on the browser and add a kid friendly search engine instead. You can just pick one from the above list for that.
Another thing you can do is check the settings page of your browser. Every major browser has specific options to control the usage for kids. You should go through them and enable them if found worthy.
You can use the search engine to get online parental tips for your specific web browser.
Use an Application to Control and Monitor the Time Your Child Spends Online
Today, the kids need the internet for study purposes. Yeah, they do. We all know the infinite number of resources the web holds. However, sometimes there is a chance that your child may blindfold you. He seeks the permission to use the internet for studying. Within no time, he may be consuming unwanted content online and you may still think he is studying.
In order to avoid this tricky situation, you can track their usage without them knowing about it. Moreover, you can even set a time limit as well. ScreenTime is a free application for this purpose. You will have to pay $4 per month if you want to monitor more than one device.
The following are the alternative apps if you decide to pass ScreenTime.
In case your children spends more time on computer than on mobile, you can install some web filter extensions like:
Communicate Openly with Your Kid
You will have to cultivate an open communication routine on your child. Even if he or she doesn’t start, you should take the responsibility to initiate the interaction. Doing this will help you know almost everything about themselves from their own mouth in time. And by the time they use the internet, they will share their online experience with you.
Yeah, there is a chance that they will have a tendency to conceal some things. That’s why you have installed applications for surveillance. Along with that, you need to stand up to advise them on the bad effects of the internet. Don’t make it a boring lecture. Interact with them in a poise and friendly way.
So, you have got a handful of online safety tips for kids now. In this post-modern world of digital dominance, you have to be cautious about growing a child. He/ she is prone to digging his/her own grave. For that not to happen, you have to rise up on time. These internet security tips for children will surely help you.