In a word of increasing technological advances are we paying attention to internet security at home?
We think about our place of work, implementing and maintaining secure data procedures, as many businesses are looking into how to make themselves GDPR compliant. Are we still focusing on what is happening in our own homes, with our most precious commodities; our children?
In order to keep your children safe online, engagement and conversations are paramount. Using the internet together will help you to understand the different ways your children are engaging with technology, by doing so together you can explore the games and services together and look for any safety features available. Some games are age related and some are classified ‘PEGI OK’.
I have found that children are enthusiastic learners; technology is no exception to this. As with any aspect of enthusiasm, the key is to harness the use of it, whilst maintaining balance in other areas of their lives. Agree time limits, removal of portable devices from your child’s bedroom at night, or disabling the internet at agreed times.
As with everyday life, rules and expectations are set and boundaries are applied; the same should be applied to online activities. Look at what is an acceptable amount of time to be spent online, dependent on age. What sites can be visited and behavior. What is right and wrong right offline is also right and wrong online. Education in all aspects of life is key, none more so than when your child is online. The statistics regarding online abuse are alarming. Stranger Danger is as important online, for example to never give out names or personal information. Be approachable to discuss any worries that your children may have, or to discuss anything they may have seen or experienced, without fear of being reprimanded.
Create safer boundaries with parental controls and filters. Your ISP will provide free filters to help block age inappropriate content for children. Filtering options can be found within websites. Settings can be applied to search engines, namely Bing or Google. Or there are specific search engines designed for children, the main one being Yahoo! Kids. Safe search options are available on YouTube. Parental controls are provided for free by phone operators also. It is strongly advisable that you choose a strong secure password and of course not share it. The safest way to keep your children safe online will always be supervision, as no controls, passwords or filters can guarantee 100% protection. To improve safety a further precaution of a good Router may be advisable, there are numerous makes and models, if you require any advice on these please contact our office on 0333 444 3455.
Locating your computer or laptop in a busy room in your home, makes it easier for you to be involved; in the use of technology. Be aware of the capabilities of portable devices, such as smartphones, games consoles and iPods; ensuring your children are supervised whilst using them. By bookmarking sites or creating favorite lists, will enable your children to find what they are looking for, without searching the internet; decreasing the inevitable spelling mistakes and them finding themselves on a different website. Please also bear in mind that ‘in-app’ purchases can be extremely costly, this can be disabled on a number of devices. If the device is your child’s personal device, it is advisable to not register any credit or debit details to any accounts.