As time passes, the unsafe places available on the internet seem to be expanding. While that doesn’t significantly affect most adults’ personal use, it has a pretty massive effect on children. Sometimes, it can feel like it’s impossible to keep from purposefully or accidentally reaching websites that they’re too young to be on. Find out how to keep your child safe on the internet with this guide.
Only Allow Access When You’re Around
For young children, especially, set a rule that they’re only allowed to use the internet at home when you’re around. As your kids get older, this rule will become more difficult to enforce, but that gives you time to teach them internet safety principles. The only problem is that many parents like their kids to have a way to contact them when they’re not home, which means they’ll always have a smart device with internet access on them.
Luckily, some devices, like our kids’ texting watch, will allow you to text, call, or video chat with them on the go without giving them general internet access. Our smartwatches don’t need to connect to a phone to work, so parents can control all the apps available on them. That means you won’t have to worry about your child sneaking an internet browser onto theirs.
Utilize Parental Controls
As we mentioned, this strategy won’t last forever. Once kids are old enough to be a little more responsible with their internet access, you can begin giving them more freedom as long as their device has built-in parental controls. These days, that includes almost all devices—but not all parental controls are the same. While none of them are perfect, some are demonstrably better than others, so check item descriptions and reviews to figure out which device is best for your situation.
Track Their Activity
If the parental controls aren’t quite up to your standards or your child is old enough for you to have free rein, another tactic you should use is tracking their internet activity. You can do this without telling them, or you can be open and honest with them about it. Either way, they’ll find out if you ever have to confront them about their internet usage, so it’s better to be straightforward with them to avoid breaking their trust.
Some parents might choose not to tell them, though, since a child who knows their usage is tracked might try to hide their activity. Due to the nature of the internet, there’s always a way for parents to find out. The most obvious is if your child’s browser history is always blank. You won’t know what they’re hiding, but you’ll know it can’t be good.
Teach Them How To Be Safe
The bottom line for how to keep your child safe on the internet is to take the time to sit down and teach them. Many kids don’t try to misuse the net on purpose. Sometimes, they’re just browsing YouTube, and something unsafe pops up. If you give them advice on avoiding these things, these situations will be less likely to occur, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your kids are actively trying to be safe online.