Monitoring your kid's private life doesn't come easy. You need to watch out for your child without invading their privacy -- possibly limit their experience while still allowing them freedom to explore life. It's a tricky balance, and it's not the same for everybody. But, there's plenty you can do to try to make sure your child stays safe on the Internet without losing his trust. The following list shows different ways you can keep your child and the computer in a safe zone without altering the experience.
Did you know that just about every social media website out there has an age limit? For example, Facebook doesn't let people under 13 join their network. Unfortunately, they can't truly enforce this, as all they do to verify your age is ask you how old you are. Make sure that whatever social media account your child uses, they have passed the appropriate age limit designated by the site; they designate these ages for good reason.
Also, make sure you're comfortable with your child having an account on those sites at whatever age they're at. Both you and the site should be comfortable with your child's age before they start using it.
Check Privacy Settings
You want to put the privacy settings on both your browser and the child's social media sites to the maximum level of security. Most strict levels of security measures on browsers and things like Facebook actually allow them to do just about everything you imagine them doing. You can usually manage specific security settings, like the levels for cookies, third-party sites, and more individually. Not only does this protect your child, it also protects the computer from breaking.
Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus software seems like some as a supplemental technology, but it's essential to keeping computers safe. It also helps protect your child from running into any unwanted sites or having his information stolen.
You might not think about this much because your computer already came with an antivirus software. Unfortunately, many built-in antivirus softwares don't work at an ideal level. It's a good idea to try to find the best available antivirus software plans on the market. That way you can help continue to ensure the safety of your computer and your child's information, along with the information of anybody else who uses that computer.
Make Basic Rules
Any child old enough to use the Internet can understand basic rules for using such a service. The same way you treat other rules in your house, should be the way that you treat your established online rule. Figure out what makes you uncomfortable about the Internet and express that to your children, while making it clear how you want them to behave.
You can't spend every second they are online watching them, and no programs can give you that perfect balance between acceptable and unacceptable, so one of the most effective ways to keep your child on the track you want is to let them know. Make sure to listen to them and respect how they feel on the matter once you've laid down the law.
The Internet has plenty of dangerous tricks up its sleeve. Make sure to take the time to educate your children on these tricks. For example, fake pages that look like a login page, but aren't, that end up stealing your username and password.
One of the biggest things on the Internet that appears everywhere and wastes plenty of people's time is contests, quizzes and giveaways. Now, of course, some legitimate quizzes and tests exist, as well as legitimate contests, but for every one that exists, there's 100 fake ones. Let your kids know that they shouldn't click on these types of pop ups or ads. Don't let them get sucked into signing up for a survey they could win $10,000, because they won't. It just takes their information and stores it in a bank used for advertising.
If they have e-mail, warn them of spam e-mails promising the impossible. Many spam e-mails these days ask for all the personal information you have, including home addresses and social security and bank account numbers. Tell them never to respond to any e-mail if they don't actually know the person it's from.
Following these tips should give you a great start to keeping your children safe online without crossing any boundaries. Stay safe without compromising the trust between you.
Looking for more ways to keep your family safe and responsible at home? Read our eBook for rules and tips: “15 Digital Safety Rules Every Household Should Follow.”