The technological advancement and prevalence of the internet enthrall our children and teenagers to go astray in the online world. The majority of underage internet users spend hours sticking to social networking sites, chat rooms, and dating applications each day.
While the internet educates children and helps them learn about the world, it can also expose them to the menaces of the digital world.
The unsupervised use of the internet can put your child’s life at risk exposing him to cybercriminals, online child predators and bullies on the internet.
It is the need of the hour for parents to keep their eyes on the internet activities of their children to protect them from online dangers.
Also read: 6 Ways to Help Your Child Make Good Choices
Meanwhile, teach them about the internet and how to use it responsibly, so they can protect themselves from the digital endangerment even when you are away from them. Given are the guidelines how parents can protect their kids from the internet dangers.
1. Begin With Web Filtering
Children as young as 13, intentionally or accidentally, are frequently exposed to pornography on the internet. So, the probability of your child encountering adult or sexually explicit photos and videos is higher when they are online.
Turn on Safe Search on the web browser your kids use to control the websites your children aim to access. Moreover, you can block the objectionable content on all internet-connected devices in your home setting up an Open DNS.
Microsoft offers built-in parental control for Windows computers allowing parents to filter the content.
Take help from parental control software enabling parents to block the objectionable websites and explicit material both on the computers, laptops, and handhelds.
It looks for inappropriate language on a site and restricts opening a page containing the abusive or unwanted words and images. As well as web filtering, you can control the time your children spend online using this software.
2. Enter into Your Kid’s Cyber Life
Stalking someone on the social media can be unethical. However, the internet vulnerabilities have made it crucial for parents to follow their kids in their cyber life. You must be aware of whatsoever your kid is doing on the internet.
Keep eyes on their social media accounts to make sure they do not become a victim of a cyber-bully. Ask your kid to add you to his/her social media friend list so you can see what he is posting and sharing online and with whom.
If your kid is reluctant to have you in his online friend circle or he has more than one social media account, you can take support of mobile monitoring app to track the activities of your children on Facebook, What’s App, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Skype, Line, Viber and many other social media, instant messaging, and dating applications.
This application also helps parents to get the internet browsing history of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera and other popular internet browsers. It will help you know.
3. Make Internet Rules to Follow in and Outside Home
Your children may find rules uninteresting at the start but they would be supportive enough to teach them self-discipline and protect them both inside and outside the home.
For instance, not allowing kids to talk to strangers online; not allowing them to privately meet someone they met online; not permitting them to share personal information like phone numbers, home addresses, es, and private photos and videos with the strangers online; immediately informing parents if they receive inappropriate messages or emails from anyone online, and show these messages to parents rather than deleting. Make rules for the use of social networking and dating apps.
Make sure that these rules are followed by each family member on all the computers and internet-connected devices both inside and outside the home.
4. Teach Them about Privacy
Teach your children how they can protect their privacy on the internet. Let them understand what consequences can be of sharing any personal information on the web. Help your kids to learn and implement the privacy settings on their social media accounts.
Make sure your children know that they should not open their social media accounts or email addresses on someone else’s device. They should not open phishing or spam emails and respond to racy or threatening messages.
5. The Bottom Line
Teach your kids about the dangers they may face online. Have discussions with them about child predators and the ways they lure and victimize kids on the internet.
Make them learn how they can combat cyberbullies and get rid of virtual peer pressure. The more you educate your kid about the use of the internet, the more you prepare him to put away the online dangers.
Strengthen your relationship with your children so they only seek you for guidance in all unfavorable situations both in digital and real life.