The internet has brought the world together by allowing instantaneous communication across the globe. With advances in telecommunications and computing technology, the internet is not only in every home but in the palm of your hands. Smartphone technology has allowed a tiny little computer right into your hands for you to access almost everything that the internet has to offer. As these technological achievements make it convenient for us to communicate with loved ones, it has also opened up some vulnerabilities that predators, scammers, and hackers are swift to exploit. The internet is a double-edged sword and a powerful tool to be handled with the utmost of care. When it comes to children, it is of paramount importance that we are with them every step of the way when being introduced to the internet and the gadgets used to interact with it. Common and practical sense has a lot to do with your child’s safety – and as parents, their security depends on you. Read on and find some helpful tips that will define safety for your kids and you online.
Gadget and Technology Limitations
If you do not want your kids spending a lot of time watching TV or surfing the web, it would be a good idea not to put a smart tv or a computer inside their rooms, right? This is just one of those sensible things that you can easily implement in your house to very subtly steer your kids away from unwanted activity online. In short, never tell them outright that they are not allowed to but preferably do not make easy for them either. Another good way to let them know that it is not a free for all is to adequately set expectation even before buying them their laptop or tablet or phone. Before the gadget even gets into their hands, make sure that they already know the on and off times and when they need to “surrender” them for bedtime.
Your home network and its security also play a huge part in your family’s online safety. Make sure that your home network is secure by adding a robust password to your devices. By devices, I mean your modem and your routers servicing your home. A strong password is required to be lengthy and complex at the same time. Generally, 12-15 would be a good password length, and if you add that length with complexity, it would be that much harder for anyone to break into your home network. Besides, most of the modern routers now will most probably have a companion app that can be controlled by a smartphone or a desktop application. With this, you can monitor who is connected to your network. WIth monitoring enabled, you can control what your kids are watching or doing and when to limit or entirely stop their internet usage. Againthis is an example of subtlety in controlling their social behavior. If you want to know what is going on, you have some technological catching up to do right here.
Social media accounts should at certain ages be monitored always by parents. For many children, online bullying is an issue, and it is critical for parents to recognize these threats to counter them. Be with them every step of the way, from the creation of their accounts to choosing their friends, be subtle and use your email address as their secondary. If at all possible, obtain the password so you can check on what they are doing periodically. Go over the internet etiquette with your children and make sure you do the same. Discuss the do’s and don’ts of the internet with them and make sure to cover the basics.
Change their Habits by Changing Some of Yours
You must have realized by now that for your kids to have safe online and offline gadget habits, you as the parent must set the tone and the example in doing so. Proper setting of expectation is crucial especially in growing children, and with them, you should practice what you preach. There are many things that you can alternate with screen time, activities with which both you and your kids will greatly benefit from. Use the internet to research and visit sites and forums such as wemomslife for great parenting tips and such activities. Again, a huge part of any parents’ success whether a child will go in the direction you want them to go is through subtlety. When you directly tell them not to do anything, they most probably will try actually to do it just to see how you would react. Raising kids is more like politics nowadays, but if you manage to pull it off, your children will thank you all the more for it when it is their turn to teach their kids.