It’s always been important to prepare kids for life in the real world. But now, with kids logging on to the internet more frequently, and at younger ages, parents also have to prepare them for life online.
Even though there are benefits to kids using the web, there can be serious downsides.
Ashish Baria, a local Information Security Manager, says, “With the internet being a great tool, it’s a great resource, at the same time it has its own dangers, so we want to talk to kids at an early age and kinda set that foundation.”
One way to monitor your kids is to use the parental control options on cell phones.
“Android, iOs, they both have them. I know with the introduction of iOs12, it gives you more options. You can lock down the app, you can say how long the app can be used, you can use down time, you can use their internet activity controls.”
Another easy way to monitor kids online is to follow them on social media to see what they are posting.
Baria suggests, “Download the same apps they are using on your phone, so that way you get familiar with the apps, with the settings, and that way you can set those settings, and at the same time, you know what the app is capable of. Being a parent, monitor those accounts. Get involved with your kids. Have that conversation one-on-one.
Parents can use third party tools like “Net Nanny” to check up on what kids are doing on the web.
Baria says those can do the leg work for you, including sending you alerts and notifications.
But even if you use the third party tools, it’s important to talk with kids often about how to stay safe online.