How to keep your kids safe online
In this day and age, the internet is everywhere and all the time. You can access it from your computer, your watch, and even your refrigerator, and so can your kids. Although there is so much good out there, the internet is also filled with less than savory elements. For that reason, parents needs to learn how and which gadgets to use to keep the internet safe for their kids.
- Kids these days want education to be fast, flexible, and affordable. For this reason, they’re turning to the internet for everything from single courses to degrees.
- The internet is so important for education that some schools are even buying Chromebooks, complete with mobile internet access, for the students.
- With the world wide web at their fingertips, brands such as Facebook are looking for ways to get involved. However, their Messenger Kids app may be a greater risk for kids than they realized.
- Because the internet can be a scary place, keeping an eye on things is necessary for every parent. The Bark app helps you do so without becoming a helicopter parent.
Thanks to cyberbullying, internet safety has become an oxymoron. Yet, the internet is one of the fastest and most affordable ways of educating your child. Kids are aware that the internet happens is a place where they can find answers to practically anything. And, you can’t deny that kids, by default, are curious. So, when you introduce them to a world where there’s unlimited new information, they are going to explore. This isn’t a mistake; kids are unaware of viruses, online privacy, cyberbullying, phishing, social networking etiquette, and any other internet safety issue you can imagine. Does this mean you should keep your kids offline? No. The Internet is their future. You can’t stop them from exploring but you can definitely keep your kids safe online.
Dr. Justin Patchin, co-founder of the Cyberbullying Research Center has said,
Most students who are cyberbullied do not tell their parents about their experience.
Does this mean you’ll never know what your kid is going through in the online world? With a little bit of awareness and a few gadgets by your side, you can actually help your child use the internet effectively. Here’s how:
How to keep toddlers safe online
Those curious little ones are often unaware of the bigger picture of the internet. Perhaps parents don’t want to admit it, but propping your kid in front of a tablet is insanely practical when you need to get some things done around the house (or just a chance to breathe). Keeping your phone locked and out of reach is equally helpful to keep those tiny (and usually sticky) hands from purchasing apps.
Now, in an age where digital education is growing every single day, you can’t ignore the positive effects of the internet that can have on your child. As toddlers tend to have the best cognitive development at its best during these early days, it’s important to introduce them to the internet in a safe and friendly way. Here are some gadgets to help:
Woobo Educational Talking Robot
Powered by advanced interactive technology, Woobo acts as a kid-friendly search engine. By connecting to the internet, its skills keep growing, and information stays relevant. Featuring over 40 skill sets, the robot answers questions as well as inspires your child to learn.
Sphero Voice Interactive Spider-Man
Taking you into the Marvel Universe, this device responds to your voice with loads of entertainment. Spider-Man can play games where you battle super villains and emerge a hero. In addition, as you make decisions and take action, the story changes, too. This means that no two days are the same.
Remi Smart Kids Sleep Companion
Sitting on their bedside table, this clock is interactive to let them know when it’s okay to get out of bed. The clock is complete with a digital display of the time so children can read it with ease. Remi also has an adorable face that lets your child know when it’s time for sleep or if they can get up.
Pro-Tip: Here’s how you can create super-secure passwords to stop your kids from hijacking your online accounts.
How to keep children between 5-12 years safe online
Let’s face it, this is the age where kids are too curious about anything and everything. So, when you are introducing them to the internet, you need to make sure that you are doing it right. Because they can now spell, type, and understand, web page or keyword blocking as well as Google SafeSearch is strongly advisable. You must also ensure password protection for apps and services you don’t want your kids to see.
The average US household owns at least one dedicated game console, PC or smartphone. Because children can access online gaming from virtually anywhere, it’s vital to safeguard them from the associated dangers with such usage. Here are some gadgets you can use:
Squaggle Kids Educational Tablet
Featuring award-winning apps and a durable kid-friendly design, this educational tablet allows you to control your kid’s screen time. It’s perfect for giving kids quality education and entertainment while also protecting them from inappropriate content.
Circle Wi-Fi Management System with Disney
Working as a central hub, this clever device gives parents the ability to control the screen time and content for their kids. Using the Circle app, you can easily filter content based on each device according to the user’s age and even set a bedtime so the devices can be put away.
Leka Interactive Smart Toy
This device is more like a robotic companion than a typical toy. It uses lights to deliver a variety of emotions as well as create fun interactive games. Leka inspires kids to move and learn and have fun doing it. In fact, the toy is designed for kids with special needs.
AlgoBrix Coding Learning Blocks Game
To begin, kids can create and build their very own Algobot. There are 10 Algobots to choose from and they all feature high-quality LEGO compatible building blocks. Then, using the blocks and modules, they can arrange code in a sequence to produce actions. Perfect for kids aged 5 to 13, the Algobot is complete with sensors and motors to communicate with the AlgoBrix.
Easily and simply plugging into the router you already have at home, netpure creates a Wi-Fi network designed to be the safest for kids. Controlled through the app, you’re able to restrict what type of content your child is able to see while online and even when they can use the internet.
Can you ensure online safety for teenagers?
With proper steps and gadgets, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. For teenagers, the scenario is a bit different because they tend to start using social media. Plus, the start to explore the internet for school as well as any interests they may have. This can be dangerous but, like Paul Vlissidis, technical director at cybersecurity firm NCC Group, says:
My view is very non-PC I’m afraid (no pun intended). I have no filtering of any kind on my kids internet, no snooping and no time limits. I have of course spoken to each of them about the perils of the internet and they know that it’s an unsafe place unless they stay on the mainstream sites.
But, if you still want to make sure your teenagers are browsing safely, you can consider stricter timelines for internet usage with these gadgets:
Vimana Smart Parenting Device
With the entire internet at your child’s fingertips, safety and security mean everything. With apps, games, social media, messaging, and more, 21st-century kids have virtually unlimited access to content. Of course, hovering over your kids isn’t the answer. But, Vinama is.
ryfi Wi-Fi Pause Button
This simple device is designed to reduce screen time in your house and encourage your kids to do their homework and chores. The ryfi router plugs into your modem or router for quick and easy setup which takes less than a minute.
Fortigis Cybersecurity AI VPN Router
Offering security and privacy, this incredible router actually uses self-learning AI to keep your connection safe. With hackers smart enough to access everything from your smartphone to your gaming console to your smart thermostat, Fortigis offers a seamless level of protection unlike any other.
Best practices to keep your kids safe online
It’s vital to protect your kids while they explore online. Consider these guidelines to keep the internet a fun and useful tool at home (and to preserve family time):
- Create a schedule for the internet.
- Do lots of non-internet based activities together like building a DIY robot or playing smart interactive games.
- Discuss the potentially negative side of the internet.
- Teach them to beware of online strangers and to take everything on the internet with a grain of salt.
- Spend time with them on the internet and try some hands-on training.
Learning isn’t confined to what you teach your kids. Nevertheless, you can always ensure that your kid is not seeing the dark side of the internet by being transparent with them. As Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, says,
You raise your kids all the time, and then one day you send them to the store on their own. And you have no idea what they’re going to see between your house and the store, but you hope that you’ve raised them in a way that they can deal with whatever it is.
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