10 ways to help improve your kids Internet Safety
We have created a list of easy actions you can take to start to educate and introduce your kids to being safer online.
- Talk to your kids first
Education is really important here. Talk to you kids about the risks and impact of seeing the ‘wrong’ type content and how easily it can be discovered (even when they are not looking for it). There are many subjects to talk through:
- Peer-to-peer etiquette
- Connecting with people you know and not strangers
- No broadcasting of personal information
- Sites you can and shouldn’t browse on.
- Introduce your kids to trusted ‘kid friendly’ websites
Sorry for the shameless plug, but using sites like beano.com that are trusted sites for kids will put your mind at ease. At Beano.com we ensure all content is kid appropriate. There is no peer-to-peer activity; no listing out to social media and all content is created in our studio (so no nasty surprises!).
You can do a bit of research online going to the brands you know well to check if they are safe for unlimited browsing.
- If you don’t want them on YouTube, consider YouTube Kids
If your kids are already into YouTube, why not download the YouTube Kids app. There is of course a risk that not all content is fully screened, although YouTube work hard to ensure that it is. It is however, more kid friendly than the main YouTube site.
- Use parental control apps
- Encourage watching and browsing together
If you can convince your kids to ‘let you in’ to their digi world, encourage them to show you the kind of content they are consuming and make a judgment if it seems appropriate. You could also restrict the use of headphone so you can hear if anything sounds.
- Don’t hide behind a screen
If your kids are on social media and you are OK with that, it is worth some education around them being responsible. With peer-to-peer conversations prompt them to think ‘would I say that face to face’ and could this be considered as bullying.
- Peer-to-peer activity
Most of the kid safe sites use fun avatars and fun usernames, with no ability to use personal information in their profiles. Do some research on the sites your kids love playing on, what username do they have? What does their avatar look like? Is there any risk for personal details to be shared or given away?
- Limit your kids screen use
Consider introducing time limits to screen use – even if it is just a spoken rule. If you need to – switch off the wifi during these times. Some internet providers allow you to have parental control, so some research to see if their services could help with limiting internet use.
- Limit your screen use
If you are always glued to a device, your kids will pick up this habit as well; consider limiting your usage until your kids are out of sight.
- Talk to other parents
See what other families are doing to help protect their kids online. What works for them? Or even just a nod to say ‘you are not alone…’ We are all too aware of little ‘Bobby Joe’ down the road who managed to watch something inappropriate – these shared stories help build our awareness and how serious the wrong content in the wrong hands could be.