How to protect your children online

Shifting to an online modality in response to the new reality has certainly not been easy, and with this shift came new challenges like kids’ exposure to the Internet in the name of studying. Online, children are exposed cyber bullying, inappropriate content, promotion of unhealthy body image issues, online predators among other serious risks. So how do parents ensure their kids are protected on the Internet? Here are some tips.

Online protection tools

Parents should consider installing anti-virus software such as Bitdefender, Avast or Norton Antivirus on their devices for protection online. Mobile devices and laptops also offer parental control which can limit the time your child goes online and flag inappropriate websites. Parents can also turn on restrictions on search engines like Google Chrome. It has the option of setting up content filters and security safeguards.

Install content filtering software

The filtering software identifies and blocks access to inappropriate material on the Internet based on broad URL database, as well as custom allow and blacklist.
An example of this software is Securely Filter. It helps manage screen time and also allows parents to keep kids safe.

Chaperone your kids’ every online activity

Teaching your kids safe and responsible online behaviour is more important than blocking objectionable material. Spend time online with your kids and share a common computer to be able to monitor it’s use. Parents could also communicate with other parents about schedules and aim to power down at the same time.

Lay down some rules!!

Limit screen time and number of gadgets in the house, keep track of all correspondence and have total access to devices and account passwords. This should provide some relief and even prevent disaster.

Teaching them do’s and don’ts of the Internet

As kids get older, it gets harder to control their internet use. Best parents can do is discussing with them the dangers they are exposed to and how to avoid them. Below are some Do’s and Don’ts your children should be aware of.
Let your children know that Internet is strictly for schoolwork, movies and listening to music.

Advice your children on the dangers of sharing their passwords, full name and address.
Advice them against clicking on sites that advertise ‘free’ items as the could lead to phishing.
Advice them against replying to spam messages.

Parents should ensure they talk regularly with their children about online safety to ensure that they benefit from the Internet without being exposed to the potential dangers.

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