How to keep kids safe online with computers and smartphones
The Internet is an amazing source of knowledge and information. One click can bring a child to fabulous places – or to undesirable places. Adult content, unwanted information, fraud, virtual intimidation and blackmail – it all strongly affects children aged 6 to 14 years. Therefore, you as a parent must know how to keep your kids safe and protect them from Internet threats. We have collected 5 proven methods to keep kids safe online in 2018.
Child safety on the Internet: What dangers lie ahead
The Internet is an open space created by millions of people. Therefore, it is not surprising that on the network you can find literally anything, including unwanted content. A child may encounter:
- Frightening content
In addition to unwanted content, people – including potential rapists and other undesirables – can transfer threats from online to offline. This affects both genders – boys and girls, sons and daughters.
Sometimes Internet problems can become offline problems. A child can share details about your credit card without malicious intent. However, financial losses aren’t the worst things that can happen. The child can be threatened by real problems; intruders can get a gullible child to provide his home address, then create problems in real life.
Denying access to the Internet isn’t a good solution. In 2018, the Internet has become a part of every person’s life. There are methods to protect a child from threats on the Internet while not limiting the child’s access to the global network. Following, we have collected all of them.
1. Talk with your child.
Remember that even if you want to forbid your child from going online, you will not be able to do so. You can forbid Internet use at home, but at school or with friends, your son or daughter will get access sooner or later. Accept the fact that your child will use the Internet, and prepare him for this.
Have a confidential conversation in which you tell your child that on the Internet, as in real life, he must be careful and not trust everything he sees. In addition, talk about online reputation. Explain that what appears on the Internet stays there forever.
It is also important to talk about privacy. The child must protect his own personal data and family data. Again, do not scare and threaten the child; just tell him that undesirable people can use this information.
Of course, the child may not understand everything you say, but your duty is to prepare him to access the Internet. Again, you do not need to scare your child and explain all potential problems.
Your child will probably encounter problems at some point. Your goal is to prepare him for this. To do so, follow the next tips.
2. Remain attentive.
Even after you talk with your child about the Internet, don’t lose vigilance; remain attentive. Moreover, you always can return to the topic of Internet hazards.
Pay attention to:
- Your child's behavior
- Your child’s mood
- Topics that interest your child
- Your child’s routine
- Changes that occur
You might see, for example, that your child isn’t allowing you to touch his smartphone, or is always closing his laptop when you enter his room. In addition, you might see that your child always seems to be sad.
When behavior changes occur, they might not always be connected to online life; they can also be because of school, friends, first love and so on. However, you can find out whether all this is connected to the Internet. There are special tools for this purpose.
3. Track your child’s activities on the Internet.
You can monitor and track how teens are using technology. The best way to do this is to use spy apps. These are special applications for all popular operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows or MacOS. You must:
- Download the software;
- Install it to the target device – smartphone, tablet or personal computer;
- Get detailed information about all activities.
There are many solutions; we recommend choosing between two options:
The first option is paid, while the second is free. You can try both, as even Hoverwatch offers a free period during which you can try it out.
If you don’t love the “spying” term, we can call this “caring” or “monitoring.” It is the same type of thing you probably did offline – looked out the window when your small child was walking outside alone.
Software allows you to track almost all activities. Through it, you’ll learn:
- With whom your child communicates
- What websites he visits
- Who writes to him and whom he writes to
- And much more
You can even track his photos and contact list! Most of the spy apps also include a location-tracking feature. Hoverwatch and Snoopza have this feature as well. Thanks to them, you will always know where your child is right now or where he has been before. You can track his location without installing special applications. We have already written about this; you can learn how to do it via this link.
Of course, to get a real picture, your tracking must remain hidden. To allow this, Hoverwatch and Snoopza operate in stealth mode. Most of the tools for parental control have this feature, but not all of them are completely hidden. Modern kids are sometimes much more technology-savvy than their parents, so apps that are not well-secured easily be detected.
All tracking data is collected in the Control Panel. You can open it on your laptop or smartphone and look at the detailed reports.
4. Configure your child's devices.
You can reduce the chances that your child will meet with unwanted content if you set up his device. For this, you can: - Use special applications that block adult content; - Use blockers to prevent the showing of violence; - Set the time when the child can use the Internet.
As we’ve already mentioned, you can’t totally control what your child is doing online. Yes, you can limit the time he spends online. This can help you be around your child and learn what’s going on.
However, the child does not stay only at home; outside the home, he can use other devices or join unprotected networks where he intentionally or unintentionally meets with unwanted content.
Therefore, the fourth point is important, but does not work separately from the others. You can automatically block ads, websites, articles and other content that contains forbidden words, such as “drugs.” However, the method works only in conjunction with the others; without them, it is not effective. You do not control your child 100% of the time and you will never be able to do so, regardless of any program you use.
5. Be ready to study.
What is Snapchat? Many parents have very little knowledge about modern technology. This lack of information can create a problem. Therefore, be ready to learn.
You must stay abreast of modern technology and modern trends. How can you protect your child from threats if you do not know about them?
If you are an active Internet user, you will not encounter any problems. However, if you don’t know much about technology, you’ll want to read information from special resources.
How to protect kids on the Internet in 2018
Don’t prevent your child from using the Internet. Of course, it is your child and your choice, but living in 2018 without Internet access can cause more problems than being online.
Follow our advice and don’t scare your child. Your aim is to protect and save, not to make your child afraid. Let your son or daughter be online. Parental control and other advice will help you protect your kid on the Internet in 2018.
To track a smartphone, a tablet, or computer Internet activities, use the Hoverwatch application. It is a convenient way to learn what your children are doing online and to protect them from problems.