Today, over 3.8 billion people use social media platforms globally. In an age where endless information lies at our fingertips, we have access to countless connections and opportunities. For parents especially, we know you want to help your children navigate the internet safely and responsibly.
As we cannot always watch our children, consider how we can best monitor their online activity and keep them safe. In the content below, we explore five ways in which parents can protect their kids through utilizing online safety.
#1. Enable Browser Settings and Privacy Settings for Maximum Security
An estimated 20% of parents report they don’t supervise their children’s internet usage at all. Additionally, nearly 62% of teens report their parents have no idea what they do online.
Reviewing your child’s browser history gives valuable insight into what your child does in their leisure time. Aside from browser histories of video games and homework research, look for credit card or personal information used without permission.
To effectively review your child’s browser history, open your child’s internet browser such as Google Chrome, Safari, or FireFox. Then, select the icon labeled “history” to retrieve a list of website URLs visited. For a more thorough inspection, check the computer’s recycle bin to see if any files were recently deleted. Although we hope you don’t find anything alarming, you may be surprised in what you uncover.
The Advantage to Enabling Browser Settings
By activating browser and privacy settings, parents can have the peace of mind in knowing that their children are kept safe from certain websites. You can create a custom “blacklist” that blocks specific websites and domains. Such websites could include:
- Pornography, Adult content
- Social Networking
- Online Gaming
- Social Media
- Weapon and Gun Violence
- Dating and Media Streaming
- Phishing, virus and spyware hosting websites
By utilizing these settings, you can block inappropriate content and help protect your child from falling subject to any online danger or indecent exposure.
#2. Monitor Children’s Social Media Activity
Another great way to protect your kids through online safety is by monitoring which websites your children visit and who they communicate with. As a result, you make it more difficult for sex offenders and online bullies to harass them. Additionally, by monitoring your children’s social media and internet activity, you will learn if your child discloses private information to a stranger.
A helpful boundary to establish with your children is to limit the level of privacy they can have with their technology. For example, you could create a household rule that technology stays in the living room and outside of bedrooms. Alternatively, you could make social media a family activity! Take Buzzfeed quizzes together or scroll through the funny memes and videos with your children. As a result, your children’s experience with social media remains wholesome.
#3. Know All Your Children’s Passwords
We know that a parent’s priority is to keep their children safe. Therefore, to best monitor your child’s social media activity, it’s a good rule of thumb to know all their passwords. By allowing them privacy over their passwords, it becomes that much harder to protect them from online dangers.
Additionally, by overseeing their accounts and passwords, you learn about the age limitations on that particular social media platform. The required digital age to open a new social media account is 13. However, the age requirement can be 18 or older for certain platforms like dating applications. In the event your child is younger than the recommended age, perhaps they could either wait until they are older before signing up or, with permission, use your account login on occasion.
Know Your Why
Keeping track of your children’s social media passwords is a helpful way to protect your children through online safety. By knowing your reason behind monitoring their social media accounts and passwords, you obtain a better strategy to safeguard your children.
#4. Have an Open Dialogue With Your Kids
In today’s culture, kids receive their first piece of technology at young ages. Therefore, begin talking with your kids right from the start. Warn them about the dangers of malware, identity theft, and sex offenders, reminding them that you want them to stay safe.
If you see a sudden change in your child’s behavior, there might not always be a warning sign. However, by having an open dialogue with your kids, they can be comfortable and honest with you, ultimately sharing what’s wrong. Perhaps, they are frustrated about a math assignment; but they could be upset from a cyber bully.
#5. Enroll in an Online Safety Course
In a world of cyber bullying, identity theft, predators, and explicit content, knowledge will be your greatest defense mechanism! Join our mission to help children safely interact on the internet and social media as they navigate our global, digital society.
Our “Protecting Kids Online Safety Course” equips parents with essential tools, knowledge, and skills to combat the dangers of social media. Additionally, this course teaches parents how to effectively monitor their social media accounts.
What will we accomplish in this course?
Social Media plays a significant role in our children’s lives and they are exposed to a new world as soon as they log on. Children can be exposed to cyber-bullying, inappropriate content, predators, grooming, psychological, and physical impacts, identity theft, and unfortunately much more.
EAG acknowledges this rapidly growing issue and has created a course to equip parents with essential skills and tools to combat the dangers of our children using social media platforms. Our course empowers you to provide a hedge of protection around your child in your communities and their online activities.
Learn More with Echo Analytics
At Echo Analytics Group, we deliver world-class products and services to a host of businesses globally. We are a full-service intelligence firm providing services, products, training, and technology to both public and private sector businesses. To learn more about Echo Analytics Group, contact us today. If you are interested in signing up for any of our courses, you are welcome to reference our Echo Academy.