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We all know that the internet is a wonderful thing. There is an abundance of knowledge out there waiting to be discovered, as well as the opportunity to watch your favorite television programs and even read a book. Plus, children love to play games! But, there are also a lot of online dangers lurking out there that we don’t know about, especially when it comes to kids.
It doesn’t matter how smart your kids are, there are always internet traps out there that can fool you. It’s a tricky situation to handle when your kid has this freedom online, but there are some things you can do to protect you and your child’s safety online. It’s just a matter of knowing how to.
One of the most important things you can do is have an open conservation with your child about what they are doing online and making them aware that they need to be careful. This should always be the first step and then you can use technology to monitor online activity.
So, let’s find out how you can keep your kids safe from online dangers.
Use Parental Controls
Let’s face it; we don’t always know what our children are clicking on when they go online. So, this is where a parental control is going to be your best friend. This will block out websites that may be bad for your kids and this means that they can’t access them when the parental control is on. It acts as a filter that lets you monitor your kids. This way, you also don’t have to be constantly looking over their shoulder wondering what they are doing. In addition, there are also some software additions that will let you control how many hours your kid spends online. They are still young and spending hours every day on a tablet or computer becomes a bad habit!
Invest in Antivirus Software
Unfortunately, there is always someone out there looking to take advantage of innocent people online, whether it is stealing your bank account details or even your identity. There is no doubt the internet can be a scary place. For example, your child may innocently click on a popup that leads them to entering sensitive date online or even download a virus that later messes up your computer. You can never be too careful, as hackers are becoming more sophisticated and children can make mistakes.
Check Out Apps
There are apps for everything these days and this includes games for your children. While they can keep kids amused for hours on end, you should check them before you download them. For example, check the privacy settings and permissions that it requires to run to make sure there is not any unauthorized access to your webcam. Plus, always check out third party apps carefully; if you don’t know where you are downloading it from or if it is reliable then choose another one. It isn’t worth the risk of something going wrong! Even read reviews online and see what everybody is saying.
Secure Your Connections
When your internet router is unsecure, you run the risk of your sensitive data being compromised. Not to mention, someone can use your internet for free! So, to make sure that your online space is safe for your kids, you have got to check that your internet router is secure first. You can set passwords to make sure that you don’t have any unwanted guests.
There are so many games that you can play online now that let you communicate with other players. While this makes it fun to play, it also means that someone can interact with your child without you knowing. The best way to tackle this problem is to have a chat with your child to remind them not to share anything that is personal with anyone they don’t know. This includes sending photos or videos; you just don’t know who is on the other end. Plus, it can also avoid the situation where other players become abusive towards your child. This can be upsetting and mean that cyber bullying can take place; this is the last thing that any parent wants for their child.
Give Yourself Peace of Mind
Keep your kids safe online and help yourself feel more confident in their use of the internet. Download a free copy of “Internet Kids – Road Trip”. The book about staying safe online for ages 6-10 today!
This was a guest post writter by Anna Blake.
About Anna Blake
Anna is a stay at home mom, wife and owner of very demanding cat, from sunny Chatsworth, California. When she is not busy chasing her 2 year old around, you can find her trying out new salad recipes or re-watching favorite chick-flick movies.
Together with her hubby they educate kids and adults about internet safety through their website and recently created an educational children’s book “Internet Kids – Road Trip”.