It seems that our children are getting into technology younger and younger. Toddlers can use tablets, and kids seem to get on social media as soon as they reach school age, which can leave many parents feeling anxious about what their children might be doing and seeing online. That’s why it’s essential for us parents to stay ahead of modern technology, so that children can still learn about technology and use the Internet, but without running into dangers.
Talk to them about the dangers
Children are incredibly innocent and trusting, and it’s important that they know that people online aren’t always who they say they are. As with any difficult subject, a chat about Internet dangers is a good idea when they are old enough to understand. Let them know that you are always there to talk if they feel uncomfortable or concerned about something they’ve seen online. Make sure you lay down some ground rules, with sanctions such as losing their Internet privileges if they do something that’s not allowed.
Protect your computer
Your child could be lured onto sites with viruses by dodgy pop-ups or links, and so installing the right antivirus software is essential before you let them loose on the computer. Choose a program that will protect from viruses as well as online fraud, and ideally one that will back up your data automatically so you don’t lose important photos or work documents.
Keep devices in a public place
Make sure that your computer, laptop, or tablet is used somewhere where you can see the screen, and check what they are doing on a regular basis. Although you won’t be able to keep tabs on them constantly, they are less likely to try to do something that’s not allowed if they know they are in public.
Block unsuitable sites
There are many types of software that allow you to put parental controls on the internet, and many of them also trace what your child is doing online, so you can make sure they aren’t attempting to access unsuitable sites. Some parents of younger children also insist that their children give them a list of their social media passwords, as well as passcodes for tablets and smartphones, so you can check their messages and e-mails.
It can be scary to let your child online for the first time, but by setting up a secure Internet connection, you can be sure that your children enjoy their time online. This allows them to keep up with their peers, and learn how to use new technology, without the negative effects that can come with it.