The long, but maybe not so hot, days of summer and the school holidays stretch before us, especially your children, internet safety for your kids is high on the priority list once more. While they are free to spend all day playing with their friends, watching TV, playing games, etc., it’s not long before the boredom sets in and they want to spend longer and longer plugged into their computers, tablets and phones surfing the internet.
If you are at work, or if you have older kids who may spend a lot of time in their rooms, it can be difficult to make sure that you maintain internet safety for them. Even if you are all on holiday together, can you be sure you know what they are looking at when they are scrolling through their phones on the beach?
This month we have some advice to help you to maintain internet safety for your kids over the summer holidays.
Parental controls and filters
As a parent, it is up to you to keep tabs on your child’s internet activity and it may not be as difficult as it may sound. You are in a position to block access to content that you don’t want your children to see either deliberately, or inadvertently. Your child may be watching something perfectly innocent, but that has links to other material that is inappropriate.
There are a number of parental controls available that will enable you to block unwanted web content, limit screen time and restrict the use of risky applications.
Qustodia, Kaspersky Safe Kids, Net Nanny and Norton Family Premier are just four of the best that are available to you at the moment. They incur a small fee, but what price the safety of your children?
- Allow you to tailor settings to each particular user
- Allow you to filter HTTPS sites
- Allow you to schedule access
- Allow you to monitor social media networks
- Allow you to manage settings remotely
Having said that, there is no better way to help your children to stay safe than to talk to them about internet safety. Talk to them about the dangers of giving their personal details to strangers; NEVER send inappropriate pictures; don’t arrange to meet up with people they have met online without telling you about it. Try to do this without scaring them and make sure that they realise that they can always come to you if they have any problems or worries – keep all lines of communication open. If they feel too embarrassed to talk to you face to face, you might even be able to have a text message conversation with them! Whatever works for you.
Other methods, which we have discussed in previous blogs are keeping computers in the public parts of the house and not allowing you kids to have devices in their bedrooms. Obviously, this may be more difficult with teenagers and you need to be able to show that you trust them.
For more help and advice on content blocker programmes, and internet safety for your kids call into Sentinel where we will be happy to talk to you.