Must-Know Tips to Keep Kids Safe on the Web
The Internet, which is the huge part of our modern lives, is also the great resource for our kids. The most obvious thing kids could use it for is to surf Wikipedia to help them with homework; or play video games; or connect and communicate with other children; or listen to music and watch videos. But along with the cool and helpful resources out there, the Internet is full of dangerous websites you don't want your kids to visit, as well as online predators and scams that could harm your child and your whole family. With all the mobile devices and desktop computer, the need in рarental сontrol for Android, iOS, and PC is nowadays huge.
The Oxford Internet Institute has recently interviewed 515 teens aged 12 to 15 years old and revealed the following statistics:
- 2% of teens have seen some type of sexual content online that intimidated them;
- 3% of teens has faced issues that scared them online;
- 4% encountered scams that pretended to be someone else online;
- 8% of teens were approached by strangers online;
- 14% of kids had some kind of 'negative' online experience during the last year.
Yet, the most surprising statistics revealed is that 90% of parents either ignore content filters at all or are unaware of the benefits these filters might provide. Keep in mind that using special content filters to block unwanted content from your kid's device is not the magic solution to the problem. Here are some tips to keep your child safe and sound online.
What Are the Online Dangers?
There are a lot of apps, which could potentially bring kids to meet either scams or online predators that could harm your child financially or even psychologically. For example, 'chat roulettes' like Omegle pair random stranger with each other to talk via camera, and you don't need to register there. Often people would stand naked in front of their camera to shock strangers in chat.
There are also apps created solely to help people who search for sexual intercourse to find each other. But while they should target grownups, minor children could be ensnared in it. But you shouldn't think that the danger is only coming from such specific apps - there are plenty of bizarre characters on Snapchat or even Instagram.<.p>
What is the best solution here? Some (including the Oxford Internet Institute experts) recommend approving every app your kid installs on his phone. This process should include talking to your child and discussing the risks and of the apps and strategies for safe online communication. Be sure to explain why you want to ban a particular application rather than give a traditional 'Because I said so.'
A good thing for a concerned parent is staying in the flow of the modern technologies and be aware of what is popular among kids and teens. This would help you filtrate the apps and differentiate potentially dangerous applications from safe ones.
Setting the Limits
While some parents tend to give their kids more space to grow and explore the world (including the virtual one), you should remember you're in charge of your child's security. So, in case your child does not hark your suggestions regarding safe and unsafe resources and keeps endangering himself, set more boundaries.
Limiting screen time and/or taking away their Internet privilege is a common way here. If the home PC is located in kid's room, moving it to a shared area like living room would help you monitor your child's online activities.
Parental control software for computer or mobile device also does a good work allowing you look after your child's online life. But before you start using them it is better to talk to your kid. While the chances of keeping such software in secret are small, the secrecy between you and your child would not do any good to your relationships.
Be there for your child at all times and stay frank - this will help to build trust and save your family from any harm.