The internet is an amazing place that lets us keep up with the news, discover new things, educate ourselves, and overall makes our lives much easier. Because the internet is so massive and entertaining, it’s no wonder why kids often gravitate towards it. While it’s okay, or even necessary to introduce your kids to the internet and the available technology, the fact of the matter is that the internet can be dangerous for kids.
While you shouldn’t completely shut them off from something that’s become an integral part of our everyday lives, you should do everything in your power to create a safe internet environment for them. For example, many parents express concerns about how to protect their kids on Snapchat, or other social media platforms like TikTok and Facebook that are notorious for dangerous challenges and child exploitation. In this article, we’ll cover the five best ways to ensure that your kids are safe online:
1. Use Parental Control Apps
Parental control apps are software solutions that come with a wide range of kid monitoring features. They are aimed at worried parents who’d like to know what’s going on with their kids. These tools are completely legal, as long as you’re using them responsibly.
Parental control apps were designed to extract and sort all data from your kids’ phones and share them through a dedicated control panel where you can navigate through different sections and monitor different kinds of activities. Some most common features are:
- Tracking their social media accounts and IM chat apps – Snapchat, Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Viber, Telegram, WeChat, TikTok, etc.
- Reading incoming and outcoming SMS messages
- Seeing deleted messages
- Blocking dangerous content
- Filtering websites
- View incoming and outgoing calls
- Viewing phone media – photos, videos, files, voice memos
- Location tracking
- Geofencing – setting safe zones and receiving alerts once your kid leaves the said zone
- Viewing browsing history
2. Beware of Dangerous Social Media Platforms
Some social media platforms are notorious for attracting pedophiles or popularizing different challenges that can potentially be life threatening. For example, we’ve all heard about the awful TikTok challenge called ‘’the blackout challenge’’ which has resulted in multiple deaths and visits to the hospital. Another worrisome instance is the dreaded ‘’Momo challenge’’ which is actually a suicide game that pushes kids to take their own lives. We also have Snapchat, which is a known breeding ground for sexual abusers and pedophiles. So, parents, be careful if you notice your kids lurking around these networks.
3. Block Sensitive Content
Sensitive and pornographic content is spread all over the web. You can access it without any age confirmation and there is a plethora of free online resources. There are these dark corners of the internet that contain porn websites, gore websites, and a lot of other disturbing content that’s not good for kids. Make sure to do some research and check whether your kid has been watching any of this. If so, use one of many different parental control apps and tools to block access to these websites.
4. Limit Screen Time
Lastly, limit their screen time. By limiting their screen time, not only will they have less time to look at dangerous content, but they’ll also won’t be glued to the computer the whole day. Computer screens have negative effects on one’s eyesight, concentration, and overall well-being. Luckily, there is a wide plethora of apps and tools that offer screen time limiting features and are very convenient and easy to use. Some of our favorite options include:
A great thing about the mentioned tools is the fact that most of them include other parental control features like blocking sensitive content, keyword alerts which notify you when your kid types something that’s forbidden, and social media monitoring.
Protecting your kids online presence has become imperative thanks to many threats that are lurking around the web, endangering our children, and creating a safe environment. There were numerous instances where kids were exploited on the internet, so all parents have to adjust to this new digital landscape and take all important precautions to protect their kids. These five ways are a great way to start.