Are you constantly worried about what your child is watching on the internet? Believe me you are not alone, thousands of parents all over the world share your sentiment.
What if I tell you, there is some ways you can actually monitor what your child is watching on the internet, these ways are not bullet proof but they are a means to an end.
The good news is that, there is great value in the internet and kids can benefit from it if the contents are censored well.
Monitoring your child’s digital content is important for their safety and wellbeing. Although there is a risk of you overstepping your boundaries and invade into your child’s privacy, the monitoring should be done cautiously. There is no perfect way to parent, especially in the digital space, it is better to be safe than sorry.
1. Parental Control Software’s
Make use of the available parental control software’s by installing them on devices (yours and your child’s) to limit access to inappropriate content and track your child’s online activity. Software such as Norton Family, Qustodio, Net Nanny etc may be of great help. Google them and decide which one suits you.
2. Become Technologically Savvy
As a parent you do not have a choice you have to educate yourself and stay informed about latest apps, games, and social media platforms that your children are using. I know this is hard given the number of apps that are mushrooming every day but this is the only way you will understand their world.
3. Keep Devices in Common Areas
Make sure all devices such as computers, I pads and TV screen are in either seating room or dining room, so that you can keep an eye on what your kids are watching and because of the public nature of these areas children will not be watching any inappropriate materials.
4. Follow their Social Media Accounts
make sure you know and follow your child’s social media accounts just to know who they are following, who follows them and what they are posting. You need to check out the accounts of who follows your child as well as who your child follows, this will help you gauge the influence sphere of your child.
5. Check Privacy Settings
ensure that privacy settings are properly configured on all devices and apps to protect your child’s personal information. For example on an Android phone Open settings, Tap privacy and security, more privacy settings, tap Ads, Ads privacy, Ad topics, under Ad topics, select the topic you want to block, tap OK. This topic will be blocked from your child’s device. Let us hope and pray that he does not figure out how to unblock.
6. Router Monitoring and Time Scheduling
For parents who are using Wi-Fi router, they can monitor their child online activities by looking at the browsing history of their devices and log times. This can help you block any website that you consider inappropriate for your child.
7. Web Browser Filtering
A parent can configure his/her website to a proxy so that every attempt to enter an inappropriate site will not be successful. You can also block specific sites that you don’t want your kids to view via settings panel. To understand more how to do this please Google.
8. Communicate with your children regarding their online presence
Although parental control mechanisms are made possible by technology, they cannot perform the full job of monitoring online activities. As a parent ensure you communicate with your children regarding their online presence. You cannot protect your child from all dangers in his/her online activities but if s/he understands the potential dangers then he can make an informed decision.
These ways are not exhaustive; there may be many more ways you can use as a parent. Develop your family online policy and stick to it making sure every family member is responsible and accountable.
I would love to hear your view on which among these ways you would try and also please share with us other ways we can monitor our children online activities.