Kids Living In The Adult Digital World

While the Internet has opened up opportunities for people around the world, helped people make friends, keep in touch with family, and even fall in love, there are also many dangers in this digital world.  One of the things which has helped drive the rapid growth and success of the Internet is the fact that it has been very unregulated up to this point.  This has also allowed people to put a lot of content which can be very harmful to children up with very few restrictions.

Everything from extremely hard core pornography to guides on how to make bombs and virtually anything else you can think of is available to anyone who has access to a computer or web-enabled mobile device.  Well adjusted adults can pick and choose which things they want to view and which ones should be avoided.  Children, however, all too often stumble upon these inappropriate sites by accident.  Teenagers tend to seek out this type of content against their parents’ wishes.

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

Whether you need to stop a younger child from accidentally browsing to an adult site, or you want to make sure your older children are not making poor choices online, it is essential to take a proactive approach to online safety.  There are many tools available to help keep your kids safe, but none of them work without the active involvement of parents.  In order to keep your kids safe, consider taking the following steps on your computers or mobile devices:

  • Install Web Filters
  • There are dozens of cheap and free web filtering packages available online today.  Choosing one which will allow you to block specific types of content based on category, keyword or specific URL gives parents the power to keep their kids safe.

  • Mobile Web Protection
  • Choosing a web filtering app like Vodafone Guardian allows you to block content based on ratings, keywords, categories and other things.  It will also keep track of what is being done on a mobile device so parents can keep track of their children’s activity.

  • Reasonable Limits
  • When children want to access the computer, or use mobile devices, make sure there are reasonable limits on the amount they can use them and what times they can be used.  Kids should not be online without restrictions or they will almost inevitably abuse the privilege.

  • Know the Risks
  • Too many parents today are unaware of the potential risks when their children are online.  They can accidentally download viruses or malware, but that is the least of your worries.  There are also adults who are actively targeting minors with online grooming, and their peers may be engaging in cyber bullying.  Understanding what goes on while your children are using the Internet is essential to keeping them safe.

The Internet is a powerful tool which can make life much easier for everyone, including children.  Like all tools, however, it is important to ensure they are used properly and safely.  When parents work with their children to ensure all web use is done in a safe way it can be a great experience for everyone involved.