Promoting online discoveries not disasters
Keeping Our Children safe is a priority in our physical reality and in the cyber world. We have all seen plenty of scary headlines featuring examples of perpetrators skulking online to prey on the naive. The best defense is offense and as Parents we can and ought to take a pro-active approach to keeping our Families safe.
The Internet can be an amazing educational resource, which can allow your child to become World Ready. However, it must be explored with guidance from those who know better. Here is a Safety Guide for Parents to help your child get the most and not the worst.
Don’t underestimate your child’s tech know-how!
Don’t assume your children can’t figure out how to use a technology which can lead to innocent curious exploration, mischief or even downright trouble which can have serious repercussions. Young children and teens are increasingly tech savvy and may even surpass the tech know-how that their parents have. This is no excuse for letting minors dictate the rules or draw the lines of acceptable behaviour.
Part of growing up is making mistakes, experiencing consequences and refining one’s character. Your children need guidance and education regarding Online Safety. Everything from sharing personal contact details to stumbling upon perverse material should be considered. It is parent’s responsibility to take their child’s online sharing and security seriously.
Short-sighted decisions made in an online instant could have long-term even Life-time repercussions.
Communication is the first line of Defence!
Keeping open lines of communication with your children is an important part of helping to educate and build awareness of safe and suitable Internet use. It is also important to discuss the rules with babysitters, extended family, and other caregivers so that everyone is on the same page in knowing what the boundaries are.
Don’t wait for your children to approach you, take the lead and initiate the conversation regarding appropriate versus inappropriate Internet Conduct. Be the adult and take on the awkward subjects even when it is uncomfortable. This demonstrates how essential these matters are and helps prevent your child being taken advantage of, or from them unknowingly damaging their future.
Help your children understand that both their online behaviour and that of others can have serious ramifications which can’t be deleted at the push of a button!
The Internet is Forever
Making rash decisions online that have long-term consequences can happen at any age. Children and youth are particularly susceptible to not understanding possible corollary affects from poor choices when connected. Explain to your child that even though an unsuitable image may disappear from their Snapchat or Social Media feed, it will in fact continue to exist online. Additionally a quick screenshot or photo of the screen may allow someone else to have access to the image even after it has been deleted. An instant of bad judgement or naïve innocence can circulate the Internet and reach unintended or even dangerous audiences!
Employing Parental Controls
Set up Passwords to restrict access on Smartphone’s and Tablets.
In Prestigio’s Android version 4.2 for Tablets and version 4.3 for Smartphones additional security features were added.
On these versions it is now possible to set up multiple user profiles. Settings and controls can be personalized in each profile allowing you to set limits depending on the age and rules for your child’s profile including access to Apps.
If you have a Prestigio device operating on an earlier version of Android, don’t worry there are still ways for you to limit what your children can access. Firstly, ensure that Apps can only be downloaded through the Google Play Store by disabling the ability to download from other sources. Then using the Settings menu, go to the User Controls and check the box next to password. This will then require that anyone attempting to purchase an App to have your Google account password. Additionally, under User Controls you can also choose to have Apps filtered by content. It is wise to password protect this setting.
Viewing Web / Browsing History is not a reliable security pre-caution
It is possible to view Web Browsing History. It should be noted that it is also very easy to delete this history or attempt to hide the viewing history by using an “Incognito’ mode, which by the way can still be seen by the Service Provider or Server Administrator.
For these reasons it is not advisable to view Browsing History as a reliable safety measure to ensure your child’s safety online. Communicate to your children the existence of Browsing History before rather than after.
Safety is the priority and building a respectful relationship with your child is a top priority.
Not being clear about expectations of behaviour and access restrictions can lead to your child questioning your motives, your child may feel unduly targeted or unsure of how to act within forever shifting boundaries. So honesty creates the best clarity.
The easiest way to control and block websites is by using an Add-On available for the Firefox and Google Chrome Browsers called BlockSite. BlockSite is free to download, simple to use, and allows you complete control over a list of websites which cannot be viewed or visited.
Another easy way to block sites is by using the App Trend Micro. Trend Micro is actually an Anti-Virus App but it has the very useful feature of also allowing you to block websites.
For more comprehensive and complete protection consider purchasing a Web Blocker Program. These allow extensive limits to be set and makes viewing what your child does online and who they are interacting with straightforward.
Play Safe within the Boundaries
Setting boundaries plays an important role in keeping children safe. This should include rules on access time allowed, sites and Apps allowed to be used, and when a child is allowed to create and use email and Social Media accounts independently.
Online safety should be treated with the same respect as the role of safety-belts in the car and other practical danger avoidance guidelines. Decide what your Family Rules will be, explain the positive intent behind them & then show them something online that is of value, safe & enjoyable..
Editor’s Note: We will be doing a series to cover more aspects of Online Safety, subscribe & stay tuned