If you look as some toddlers today, you will be surprised by how well they get along with technologies. Kids as young as two years old can easily use your smartphone or tablet to watch their favorite cartoons or launch apps. Older ones often know their parents’ smartphones even better than adults.
It is not a bad thing – being raised in the technological world, they should know how to use it. The Internet and smartphones provide a lot of useful and entertaining things. But it can also be distracting and dangerous – if you let innocent kids go this path alone.
What can you do as a parent to keep your kids from getting into the worst online traps? Read along and learn more about securing your devices for children to use.
- Inappropriate Videos
There are plenty of YouTube channels created solely for kids – they post cartoons and toy unpacking videos most kids love to watch. But what is specific about the YouTube, is the widest variety of vids uploaded every day – and some of those are not appropriate for the younger audience. Given somehow random ‘Suggestion’ system, there is no guarantee kids will not accidentally watch something he is too young for.
What can you do? For such cases YouTube is offering you ‘Safe Mode’ – it prevents kids from watching videos other YouTubers has flagged as inappropriate. To turn it on, log into your Gmail or YouTube account on your kid’s device and find ‘Safe Mode’ in the YouTube menu. After switching it on you can log out – the browser will still be protected.
- Inappropriate Web Content
Getting into the darker side of the Internet is quite easy today – sometimes you only need to mistype the word or click the wrong link. Older kids might actually look for inappropriate content intentionally. How can you prevent accidental or intentional access to such content?
Wb filters are simple and effective for making the Internet a little ‘cleaner’. Web filters are available for almost any device and OS including Mac and Android, and you can alter them according to your needs. You can block out the undesirable pages like porn and gambling, alcohol and nudity, etc.
- Cyberbullies and Predators
Bullying has always been the problem for kids of all ages, and the wide use of the Internet adds a lot more struggle to kids’ life with cyberbullying. There are plenty of sad stories about kids being bullied online. And even more stories about children meeting in person with someone whom they met online.
Many of these acquaintances start in social media like Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or others. What can you do to make kid’s online communication safer? First of all, make friends with him on social media and be sure to follow what is going on. And the second step is using social media monitoring software.
These can be set to send you messages whenever your kid is being bullied, and it can also check if all his online friends are of the appropriate age.
Sexting – or sending sexually explicit messages – is widespread among teens. But if a kid is caught sending a sext, he might be accused of child pornography distribution, while the adult receiving such messages will be prosecuted for possession of child pornography.
There are SMS or text trackers you can install for iOS or Android – they will send you the copy of any message sent by your child via the wireless carrier network. But some apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp cannot be well-monitored, so you can really delete and block them from kid’s device.
Most kids are really looking for innocent fun, and it is good if you trust them. But can you trust strangers on the Internet? Ease your fear by making the technology work for you.