5 things you should do NOW to keep your kids safe online
Here are 5 ways to keep your kids safe online that you can implement right now :
1. Set their account to be private on all social media channels
Your child needs to be at least 13 years old to be registered on any social media channel.
The default setting on most apps isn’t usually private. But on social media channels like Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat you can control who sees your post, who can contact your child and what posts can your child view.
When your kid signs up to a new app, ensure that all settings are made to private.
Here are the links to information about the privacy settings on the most popular apps:
2. Make Youtube safe for children
Youtube is the new way of watching TV. It is one of the most popular platforms used by kids.
But not all the videos uploaded on Youtube are appropriate for children. If your child is below the age of 13 years old then use Youtube for kids apps. It is designed especially for children.
For older kids use the sites safety features to keep your children safe on the app by switching on “Restricted Mode”. This can help hide videos with mature content. However, no filter is 100% accurate. Inappropriate content can always slip through, so don’t leave your child alone with Youtube.
Follow the steps below to switch on Restricted Mode :
Click on your profile icon
Scroll to the bottom
Toggle restricted mode on.
3. Use browser and search engines that is safe for children
You can install a kid-safe browser on all computers,
Set up Google Safe Search
If you are using Google Chrome then you set up “Google Safe Search”. This will block explicit content, such as pornography and offensive content.
But do keep in mind that even with “safe search” switched on, inappropriate content can always find a way to slip through. Hence, keep an eye on your child’s browser.
4. Create a different account for your kids on the computer
If your kids are using the same computer as you are at home then create a separate account for them. Each account will have a different home screen. You can specify the apps and privacy settings for their account.
This will help you protect your own search results. You do not want your child stumbling on a site or video that you were browsing on and it is not appropriate for them.
On a Mac, you can create a new user account for your children with parental control. Using this feature you can control your child’s use on the computer, set time limit and limit applications.
To set up parental control on Mac:
Open System Preferences.
Click Parental Controls.
Create a new account with parental controls and then Continue.
Enter the administrator’s username and password.
5. Use parental control apps
Research conducted by Pew Research found that 50% of parents use parental control app to filter, limit and block their child’s online activities.
Parental control apps have become a necessity today. The right app should be able to let parents know everything their child is doing on his/her device. The most common tools to look for in a parental control app includes blocking apps/sites, setting time limits, providing alerts on dangerous materials and monitor instant messages.
Here are some other features that needs to be in a parental control app :
Being able to block websites and apps (Sex, Violence and Drugs)
Access files such as videos and photos
Track your child’s location
Control app downloads and purchases
There are plenty of parental control app options out there, here are some common ones :
Net Nanny: https://www.netnanny.com/