Gen Alpha kids have no clue about the time when we could not instantaneously interact with people all across the globe using the internet. In fact, they tend to spend more time online than all the previous generations — probably more than their parents.
If you have kids, this means a lot of trouble, as there are disturbing, explicit, and illicit apps and sites that no parent wants their children to come across.
Before you begin establishing rules and regulations, take some time to learn how to make set parental controls for your kids to use the internet safely.
Internet Parental Control Guideline
The best way is to install parental control software in all internet-enabled devices that your kids use. These types of software are available in the latest Android, Windows, iOS, and Mac OS versions. But, you can also buy them as separate programs. The latter includes more appealing perks and features.
Some popular parental control software are Net Nanne, Safe Eyes, and Bsafe Online.
Apart from the software, there are several other things you can do to secure your kid's internet usage. Let's have a look:
- Set password protection on all your devices. This way, your kids will be dependent on you to access the internet.
- Use parental control software to allow only limited computer and internet access to your kids when you cannot supervise them.
- Set strong privacy settings if your kid actively uses social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and keep a check on their friend list.
- Place your computer, gaming consoles, and other internet-enabled devices in the most crowded area of your house, so there is always someone to keep a constant check on what your kids are doing online.
- Subscribe to a good Internet Service Provider. Some ISPs include antivirus and excellent parental control features in their offerings such as internet by Mediacom customer service. So, you never have to stress about your little ones accessing age-inappropriate content online.
- Review the level of internet access your kids will have when they visit their close friends and family.
Apart from general warnings about securing your children from the internet, you must also be well-aware of some common things that can create issues for your little ones, such as:
- Illicit file-sharing plans: Through certain websites and programs like Gnutella, Kazaa, and Bit Torrent, etc., children can illicitly download shows, music, and other media content.
- Social media websites: A lot of kids actively use social networking apps, like Instagram and Snapchat, to publicly share private photos and information, which hackers can misuse with pernicious intentions for your kid.
- Instant messaging and chat: Apart from general texting through smartphones, a lot of children nowadays use IM or Instant Messaging like WhatsApp or Kik and chat rooms like Messenger and iChat to interact with their friends and family members. Sadly, sometimes predators fake themselves as kids to join your little ones in their chat rooms and conduct inappropriate conversations that may drag your child into trouble. So use instant messaging apps that are especially designed for children. They have tighter security controls that provide a safe online environment to your kid.
- Video chatting: Just like many teenagers and young adults, kids have also moved to video chat rooms, like Chatroulette, which helps users find new friends to chat with and is notorious to get kids involved in inappropriate acts while on their webcams.
- Web videos: YouTube is quite popular among kids. Sadly, there are a lot of videos openly available on YouTube and other sites that might not be appropriate for your kids. The YouTube Kids app is the kids' version of YouTube with age-appropriate content and stricter viewing rules.
Communicate Directly With Your Kids
Before giving your children access to a Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone that lets them send and receive pictures, messages, audio, and videos, always communicate the following essential points to your little ones:
- Remind them to not immediately trust anything they read or see online.
- Request them to discuss with you if something feels baffling or disturbing.
- Guide them to not post every personal detail online.
- Give them a heads up about cyberbullying
- Advise your kids to only access age-appropriate games and sites.
No matter how safe your smartphones, laptops, and other devices are, you can still never be a hundred percent sure what your children access in your absence. Therefore, one of the best parental controls is an active parent that guides their kids consistently regarding electronic use, discusses the repercussions about the perils of the latest technologies, and is well-aware of what their kids are doing online.
About the author
Nathan Jones works as a content editor at BuyTVInternetPhone.com. He has seven years of experience in content writing and marketing.