Safe Internet Tips for Protecting Kids Online

father_and_son_computerLet’s face it. Kids are better with technology than we are. They seem to intuitively know how to use an iPad or queue up their favorite show on Netflix. With the internet available everywhere how do you protect your kids and grandkids online?

Kid Mode

Phones and tablets can be a quick way to entertain kids at the doctor’s office or on long car rides. Before you hand-off that digital device, protect your child online by checking to see if it has a kid mode.

Kid mode limits access on the device to appropriate aps or may lock the device into a single app that you’ve chosen. To get out of it, you’ll need to enter the passcode.

For devices that don’t come pre-loaded with a kid mode you can download one in the app store.

Privacy Settings

Kids love social media. At Technology Solutions we recommend keeping kids off social media until they have a clear understanding that what they post online can be seen by anyone, and also have the decision making skills to make good choices online.

You can help keep your child safe online by using privacy settings. On Facebook and other social media sites you can adjust who can see your posts and content. For kids we recommend the strongest privacy settings so that only friends can see your child on Facebook.

Click here for more on Facebook Privacy Settings

Password Protection

To prevent your children and grandchildren from accessing the internet unsupervised, you can password protect your computers and devices. Kids are smart, so make sure it’s a password that they won’t easily guess.

To protect your children when they are online, you should have access to their accounts. That way you can monitor their activity. This may seem overbearing at first, but it can go a long way toward helping your child avoid cyberbullying  and online predators.

Search Filters

Whether you use Google, Bing,  or Yahoo, your internet browser can be set to limit what kids see online. This safe search option will block most inappropriate content including explicit video and images as well as pages suspected to include this type of content.

Click on the links above for details on setting up safe search in various search engines.

Talk to them (text if you have to)

Finally, the most effective way to protect your kids online is to talk to them about internet safety. Explain that online, people can pretend to be someone they are not. Outline what information is appropriate for them to share online and what isn’t.

For more on talking to your kids about internet safety, visit the NetSmartz site, or OnGuardOnline.gov.

The FBI has even created a game called FBI Cyber Surf Island with different challenges for kids of different grade levels.

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