Hi Geeks! With the school holidays underway, we know there are plenty of kids and teens looking forward to spending some well-earned relaxation time surfing the web. As a parent or caregiver, it’s your job to make sure they do so safely, so we’ve put together a few tips to keep the kids safe online.
With the kids on school holidays, it’s their time to relax after a year of hard work at school.
No doubt they’ll be spending more time than usual online, so it’s a good idea to take steps to help keep them safe while surfing this summer.
Here are our best tips for keeping kids safe online.
Setting up SafeSearch and parental controls
Safe search options are a quick and easy way to ensure your kids aren’t accessing explicit materials.
Google makes it easy for any web devices and browsers. Simply visit the SafeSearch settings and switch it on. It’s not 100% accurate, but this setting will filter out explicit content in Google search results.
You can also set up parental controls on their device specifically. In Android, you’ll find it in the Google Play Store App, then go to Settings > Family > Parental controls > On. You’ll then be able to select restrictions for each kind of content.
On an iPhone, go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Content Restrictions. Here, you can choose which types of content you want to restrict.
Finally, you may also be able to use your router to set up safe searches. For example, our TP-Link Decos, have the parental control section so you can create profiles for each person in the house and then set up filters like blocking certain websites, or certain content types!
Setting online and screen time limits
Many of us love to relax by browsing online, playing games, and catching up with friends. However, there can be too much of a good thing.
Try setting up online and screen time limits to encourage your young ones to get outdoors, read a book, or try some arts and crafts.
If you’re not sure if they will adhere to your rules, you can set screen time limits on their devices to enforce them. The Tp-Link Deco parental controls also let you set time limits and bedtimes as well!
Have a conversation about identifying and managing scams or inappropriate content
While setting up parental controls is a great measure, it’s also important that your young ones are aware of the many dangers that can slip through the net.
For example, you should teach them the tell-tale signs of scams:
- Anything that’s too good to be true (freebies, extremely cheap high-value items)
- Websites asking you to sign in to social media accounts
- Anyone asking for money out of the blue, especially while asking you to keep it a secret
- Anyone asking you for personal information
- Text messages and calls from banks or other companies with suspicious links
- Anything that seems to be an emergency
It’s also a good idea to teach them what to do if they suspect a scam or anything suspicious. If nothing else, teach them to ask you about it first, but they can also block people, report suspicious activity, and simply close the window and walk away.
Monitoring your child’s digital footprint
It can be hard to know where to draw the line between allowing a child their privacy, and ensuring they are staying safe online.
While you don’t need to follow every conversation they have, you can check up on their friends lists, and make sure they’re actual friends they know in real life. You can also ask about the content they’re sharing and receiving from friends to ensure it’s appropriate.
Keeping devices in shared spaces
Another strategy you can try is to keep laptops and tablets in shared spaces. This way, they can have their independence while you can keep an eye on what they’re doing when you walk by occasionally.
Learn about the apps and websites they use
Many apps and websites offer fantastic tools and resources for kids, but it can be hard to tell the good from the bad without any context.
Find out which apps and websites they use, and take a look for yourself. Are they age-appropriate? Is there anything you would need to talk to your kids about?
In any case, downloading the apps and visiting the sites they do can be a great way to bond with your young ones and keep the kids safe online.
Finally, it’s a good idea to set some expectations for internet use over the holidays.
You can cover everything from how much time online is too much, to which kinds of websites are off limits, to what they need to tell you about.
And should they accidentally download a virus or somehow corrupt your technology, Geeks on Wheels will be on hand to help you put things right. Call us on 0800 4 A GEEK (0800 24 335) or book a Geek online to get help getting it sorted.