The use of the internet dominates all aspects of our daily lives. It’s something we use to stay connected, perform tasks and gain information. As adults, we are well aware of the risks and dangers that come with access to an abundance of content and different kinds of people. However, our kids have impressionable minds, and having the same level of access can significantly affect their personalities and mindsets about different things and people. So whether you’re using the internet services by companies such as Charter Spectrum or any other, you need to take appropriate steps to make the internet safe for your kids. Here are some tips that can help you achieve this.
#1. Talk to Them Openly
When your child starts using the internet, you should talk openly with them about their online activities. Ask them about what they are watching, reading, and who they’re chatting with. You should be aware of the apps they use and the websites they visit. Make a list of all the sites they use and look at them together. Then discuss with your kid what is appropriate and what is indecent. This is important so that the child can identify the difference between good and bad information. Listen to your child and understand how they view a certain subject/idea. Then discuss with them to reach an agreement about the websites and activities that are ‘right’ to use online. Remember, there will be a time when they’ll be using the internet outside the home, so you need to prepare them for that.
#2. Install Ani-Virus Solution on Devices
Kids are inquisitive by nature. Because of their attraction to new things, they can easily fall for traps in the form of links from untrusted sites and video game downloads from anonymous web locations. Hence you should install a reputable company’s virus solution on the device they use. The solution should have a firewall, a real-time scanning engine, and automatic updates. Whether you need a paid or free antivirus depends on your needs, so choose wisely.
#3. Parental Blocks
When it comes to younger children, you probably can’t do without parental blocks. They are important to keep kids away from inappropriate content or stumbling onto something dangerous. While you do have the option to buy a program for this purpose, it would actually be easier and cheaper if you change the settings of your browser instead. And if you are concerned that using the same program or settings would affect your experience, simply use a different browser and/or different computer log-in account (than your children).
#4. Teach Children About Privacy & Know Their Online Friends
We know very well that everyone you meet online is not always telling the truth about themselves. But children can be naive about who they are chatting and exchanging information with. Hence they need to be made familiar with the concept of cyber privacy from an early age. This would put them in the habit to gauge or verify a source/person before interacting with them.
Also, you need to know which people are in your child’s social media circle, what kind of posts they’re interacting with and who do they chat with the most. They may resist giving out all details but be firm and keep it as one of the conditions for internet access.
#5. Place Devices & Screens Where You Can See Them
Always place the computer at a central spot in the house so that you can easily view your child’s online activities. In the case of cell phones, by setting them to forget Wi-Fi passcodes your children would not be able to access the internet without you knowing. You could also make it a rule to not have laptops and tablets in bedrooms.
#6. Make Internet Time Family Time
As a family, you go to picnics and watch movies together. Why not browse the internet together as well? Making internet time family time can help you have a better understanding of your kids’ interests and activities. In this way, you’ll be able to guide them to appropriate sites where they can enjoy as well as learn.