The Internet can be a very useful tool for children. Unfortunately, this can also be a very dangerous interface if parents do not take the proper precautions to protect their kids.
Many Internet predators search for ways to entice kids. There are also websites that display imagery that may be harmful to impressionable children. It is best to practice preventive measures when it comes to online safety for children. Here are 5 great helpful tips for parents that desire to protect their kids online.
1. Internet Filtering Software
One of the most useful tools for any type of online protection is an Internet filter. There are both free and premium software applications that can be set up to block certain websites according to categories. This is useful because it restricts kids from even entering the websites that are classified as dangerous.
2. Parental Monitoring Software
The concept of Internet filtering is good, but it may not be logical without parenting monitoring software in place. There are lots of social media sites that may not be considered dangerous, but the hidden dangers may lie within who your children are communicating with. That is why the parenting monitoring software is useful.
3. Search Engine Settings
An Internet filtering application can be a good program to aid in protecting kids while they are online, but this is just the surface of online protection. Sometimes children can enter certain keywords and search for images to bypass the Internet filter.
This is why parents must also modify their search engine settings as well. With certain search engines like Bing parents have the ability to modify the settings. They can select a moderate or completely unfiltered search when they set up the search engine. When they do this it will cut down on the amount on the manipulation of search engines for finding unsafe content.
4. Firewalls and Spyware Protection
The average person that has firewall and Internet protection does not even have it turned on most of the time. As a parent it is very important to make sure that these programs are not only installed but active. It is also advised for parents to have administrative accounts.
Children should have profiles on the computer as standard users. This will allow parents to have full control over the spyware and virus protection software. In other words, children will not be able to turn these programs off. It is important to have this software running because kids can click on things that will install spyware and create illicit pop-up ads.
5. Warn Children About Manipulative Internet Predators
Another important thing that parents must do is warn their children about the dangers of the Internet. Children need to know that visiting chat rooms and giving personal information to strangers is a dangerous thing to do.
When parents have the opportunity to view the websites that their children are visiting they will be more informed. They will know what types of conversations they need to have with their children about Internet content.