4 Easy Ways To Protect Your Kids Online

protect your kids online

If you read yesterday’s guide – 7 easy tips for securing your wireless home network – then you should, hopefully, now have a secure home network.

That, however, is only one of many precautions you need to take if you want to ensure that using the internet is both a safe and pleasant experience.

In this post I am looking at ways that parents can keep an eye on their kids when they are on the internet in order to ensure that they are safe.

Unfortunately, in this era, there are a lot of dangers.

That not only means scammers, but also identity theft, online predators and other dangers too.

Children’s natural curiosity is great, and should be encouraged, but it can also lead them into situations that are best avoided.

protect your kids online

protect your kids online

Get Involved With Your Children’s Online Activities

If you want to know what your kids are doing on their computers, both online and offline, then there really is no substitute for personal involvement with them.

Not only that, but sitting with your child and engaging in activities together is great fun and can be quite educational too.

Not only could you play games together but you could also conduct joint research into homework topics or plan activities together.

Not only would this allow you to see what your child is doing online but it would also teach them that a computer is for more than just playing games.

Ensure That Your Computer Is Somewhere Visible

I know from my own personal experience that allowing children to have computers in their bedrooms leads to their surfing habits becoming a private affair.

Instead, have them somewhere more visible where you can keep half an eye on them at least.

If you see them on an inappropriate site or somewhere you have expressly told them not to go then you will have the opportunity to step in and stop them.

Not only that but you can then educate them as to why you don’t wish them to view that site or a certain type of material.

If you retain that level of control then your kids will likely respect your decisions and not try to access such information again in the future.

Make Rules And Stick To Them

I believe it is a good idea to set boundaries with your kids before letting them use the internet.

Letting them know in advance what types of sites they can and cannot visit, including the reasons why, is a good means of protecting your children.

Another thing I found with my own children is that it is also wise to set time limits on their computer and internet usage.

My kids play certain online games and really do become immersed in them to such a degree that I firmly believe they could play them all day long if given the opportunity.

By setting time limits I have cut back on the time they play games for as they realise they have to fit their other activities into a limited time period too.

Once you have made the rules be sure to stick to them.

The internet can be an amazing place of fun and learning but it can also be addictive.

Ensure that your children remember that there is more to life than just computers.

Communication

Communication is essential if you wish to keep your children protected whilst they are on the internet.

Don’t be afraid to tell them about the dangers of online predators and some of the methods they use to try to befriend kids as this may just prompt your child to think twice when engaging with other anonymous people online.

If you talk to your children regularly about their internet activities then they will almost certainly open up and be quite forward about what they are doing and which sites they are visiting.

Finally, let your kids know that they can come to you at any time if they ever feel frightened or intimidated by anything they come across on the internet or through email.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. It’s still down for me too – looks like he has a bit of an issue there.

  2. I just tried KenS site and it doesnt work.

  3. Ken, I was going to take another look over your site – do you know it’s down at the moment?

  4. Ha ha!

    I am now more strict about the timings because she has myopia in one eye :( I hate it when kids have to wear glasses.

  5. I sit in the same room when my daughter chats with her school friends she hasnt complained so far about it and I do peek in every now and then. Its not much of a problem for me because she goes online only once a week and maybe for an hour or so.

    But I do know some parents out here leave kids unmonitored for hours.

    I think it is important parents know who their kids are befriending online

  6. “less a case of ignorance on the part of parents and more a case of laziness or neglect – many of my friends are simply uninterested in what their kids are doing online”

    THAT, my friend, is the worst scenario and the unfortunate truth. It’s an epidemic that came about by people having kids but not really ready yet to be “parents” – it’s happens globably oo – not just here… know what I mean? Laziness is unforunately something we can’t fix.

  7. I know first hand what kids can be like – my youngest is happy for me to sit with her and monitor what she is doing but the elder ones are rather secretive.

    Little do they know, but I have way and means of finding out what they are doing anyway!

    From my experience, though, it is less a case of ignorance on the part of parents and more a case of laziness or neglect – many of my friends are simply uninterested in what their kids are doing online :(

  8. Ken I have to commend you on a very professional looking site.

    Judging by the presentation I would guess that your product is extremely popular is it?

  9. Why thank you! It’s doing well and parents love it… But I would be lying if I said I didn’t want it to be more popular… :)

    The biggest issue facing us is simple awareness. Parents still don’t really get it. There are so many reasons for monitoring software… if you have kids, the reasons are 10-fold. But slowly, the message is spreading.

  10. You may want to install monitoring software like PC Pandora too. That way you can have a visual record of everything anyone does on your machine – especially kids who are on social network pages talking to strangers and swapping files that may have viruses.

  11. Hi Play Games

    Care to explain more on how such a blacklist can be self updating?

  12. You can control access to inappropriate sites, by employing a self updating blacklist on your hardware firewall (if you have one or use a redundant computer). I use endian firewall in my home network with a self updating blacklist.

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