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Five Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Top Five Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe Online (and you don’t need an app for these)

In our world, it’s starting to feel like every third app is created to help us keep an eye on the goings-on as our children explore the online world but that’s not a save-all, silver bullet way to do it. In fact, when it comes to monitoring your child’s online activities, apps are highly useful, but they’re not the only way to do it. We’ve come up with our top five ways to keep your kids safe online (app-free):

Talk about and set the rules together
Nowadays, it seems like we could give a kid an Internet-enabled device and, pretty soon, they’ll have reconfigured it to control the television remote, your microwave and the coffee machine. But, if you set and discuss the rules together, before you hand over the device, you’re less likely to end up with a remote controlled appliance roaming the house. Of course, that’s not the worst thing that could happen, but when it comes to online behaviour, downloading apps and browsing, set the rules and boundaries together. Getting kids invested in their own online experience before they even hit the power button both gives them a set of boundaries and reassures them that you’re on hand to answer any questions or guide them along the way.

Be the example
Worried about online conversations and the content thereof? Then don’t have questionable conversations or share private information or images yourself. Children do, and always will, learn best by example. And yes, they have snuck a look at your WhatsApp history while you were in the loo, even when you think they haven’t. Just trust me on this one, they have.

Five Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

The open phone policy
One of those rules you set with your child in that conversation should be an open phone or tablet policy. Yes, that means you can take a look anytime you happen to be passing by or would like to. No, that’s not mean or an invasion of privacy, it’s parenting. In the same way as you’d take a look at their report card or make sure they’re doing okay at school, do it with their devices too.

Bedtime for everyone
No, letting your child lie in bed with their tablet or phone is not the way to do things. Sorry, but no. Again, one of those rules you set together is that device’s bedtime. Just like you turn the TV off every day, at some point, the device goes to bed. Every night, phones and tablets get handed in for safekeeping – this also prevents expensive equipment from being rolled over onto during the night.

Monitoring
If the device is connected to a Google account, it’s very easy to check in on what’s happening. Google Account Settings stores information on browser history for Chrome, Location information (if you turn this on) and YouTube watch and search activity too. It’s as easy as logging into the Gmail account or navigating to the Google Settings on the device. It’s as simple as eating apple pie, but not nearly as tasty.

Five Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

 

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