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July 28, 2021
When you think back to your younger years, sure you had a computer and access to the internet but there’s no comparison between then and now. Today, the internet is much different. There’s no waiting for the dial-up to connect and no more tying up the phone lines either.
Although computers and the internet were used, children spent the majority of their time playing outdoors or with toys. Because accessing the internet is so simple and quick, children are spending more time browsing the online world. The more time they spend online, the more worried you become about online security.
As a parent, you know how much time your children are spending on the internet. If you’re ready to start monitoring kids’ internet use, then you’ll want to continue reading below. Here’s everything you need to know about common parental controls for the internet!
An easy way to monitor your child’s internet use is to place the computer in a common area. Rather than keeping the computer in a room with a closed door, keep the computer in the living room, the den, or another room where there’s a lot of foot traffic. The simple fact that there will be adults walking past will prevent many children from doing certain things on the internet.
You’ll want to make sure the computer screen is facing outward so you can see it from any angle in the room. Don’t face the computer screen towards a wall. If you notice something suspicious, then you can have your child show you what they’re up to without worrying they’ll hide something.
Gain Computer and Internet Knowledge
The more you know about computers and the internet, the better you’ll be at monitoring your children’s internet use. Many people are familiar with computers and the internet and how it all works, but there’s much more to be learned than the basics. You can read up on the topic by heading out to your local library.
Pick up a few books to help you get more knowledgeable about the dark web, public WiFi hot spots, and other subject areas you may be concerned about. You can also ask your internet service provider for information on different internet subjects as well. They’re a wonderful resource.
Place a Filter on Your Search Engine
Depending on what search engine you use, you should be able to place a filter on the search results. Go to your search engine and search for anything. Then, open the settings and click on, “hide explicit results.”
What does this do?
This will prevent any adult sites and other sites not appropriate for your child from appearing in the search results. All search engines are different so be sure to open the settings and take your time exploring what options you have. You may even be able to find more parental controls as well.
Do keep in mind that children are smart and will find their way around anything if they set their minds to it, so be sure to place a lock or code on your internet browser that prevents children from being able to change the settings.
Set Computer/Internet Rules in Place
It’s always a good idea to set computer/internet rules for the entire house. If you set these rules when your children are young, then it’ll be easier for them to follow than trying to set new rules for teenagers. However, either way, there should be some rules in place. These rules can about what websites your children are allowed and not allowed to visit.
You can also have rules about how much time each child is allowed to spend on the computer or the internet. If anyone wants to download something, then they’ll need to ask for permission first and so on. Come up with a few good rules, write them down, post them near the computer, and go over them with the children.
Have a Discussion With Your Children
When children are given rules they don’t understand, they could be defensive and fight back against them. For this reason, it’s always best to sit down and have a discussion with your children about the dangers of the internet. Go over a few topics and show them some statistics about children who’ve put themselves in danger because of the internet.
Speak with them about how to use the internet safely because the internet is a wonderful thing when used safely and correctly.
Prevent Uploading and Downloading
Any uploading and downloading should be monitored by an adult. Uploading images may be a sign that your child is sending photos to someone online. Even if the photos don’t seem inappropriate, there are adults out there posing as other young children as a way to receive photos of children.
Downloading items on the computer could install viruses on the computer or give hackers access to personal information. Let your children know that certain things can be downloaded (games, learning tools, and more), but you need to approve them first to ensure it’s nothing malicious.
What Online Security Measures Do You Have in Place?
Do you currently have any online security measures in place? If not, then be sure to use some or all of these parental controls to help keep the entire family safe. The internet brings lots of knowledge about various topics and can benefit your children in many ways.
What’s most important is that you and your children understand how to use the internet safely. Remember, you can always contact your internet service provider about any safety concerns you may have.