Think of the Internet as the actual physical world outside. You wouldn’t let your young children run around without supervision outside of your home or your street. For parents with teens, the supervision may loosen, but you still won’t allow them to visit bars or the “red-light district.”
Well, the same is true for the Internet. Younger children need more supervision to protect them, and older children need a different type of supervision to keep them from going places where they don’t belong.
Fortunately, there are tools at your disposal to help keep your children safe when they are surfing the net.
The first line of defense should be to limit your child’s Internet usage. Very young children should only be using the computer in a common area such as a living room and only with a parent’s direct supervision.
As they get older, you might consider allowing them to use computers, smartphones, or tablets in their rooms. With that, your home’s wi-fi settings should allow you to manage each device connected to it. You can disable wi-fi if the child is staying on too long (or is on restriction).
You can also set a time limit on the device and put a cap on what time they can be online so they aren’t staying up until all hours of the night playing games or talking to friends.
Parental Control Software
The next popular option is to use parental control software. These are programs that will block content considered to be inappropriate or offensive.
This software will block all adult material and pornography in real time—meaning that the child won’t get a quick glimpse followed by a blocked message. The material is never seen.
Additionally, the program can block inappropriate searches on Google or other search engines to prevent kids from trying to circumvent the blocks. If you find a website that is not blocked, but that you wish to keep your child from visiting, you can also personally block it from their view.
There are plenty of other options that you can use without having to buy a parental blocker.
Google allows you to activate “Safe Search.” This means that it will block inappropriate results from popping up when a child does an Internet search. (Such as inappropriate images showing if they Google a celebrity.) Every device or operating system you could possibly use should also have similar parental control options, including Windows, iOS, and most of the major gaming systems.
Another popular website, YouTube, has recently come under fire for inappropriate material. Although it’s hard for YouTube to tag or block every one of the billions of videos that it supports online, there are ways to take care of this.
Log in to your YouTube account and go to Settings. By clicking on “Restricted Mode,” you can block inappropriate videos. However, you still should remain vigilant as occasionally things may slip past the censors.
Kids Need Help Navigating the Internet
Let’s face it—the Internet can be a scary place. Besides the pornography that is rampantly available, there’s also the problem of online predators lurking in seemingly innocuous chat rooms and message boards. But by taking the time to establish filters and monitors, you can ensure that you can keep your family safer when they are browsing on the Internet.
Radius Bridge wants you to be aware and proactive in protecting your family online. Find out more about Radius Bridge and how we’re protecting businesses every day.