Academics Plus, Inc. realizes that as technology is becoming more prevalent in our lives, this also means that it is becoming more prevalent in the lives of children. In this, case parents may wish to ensure there are adequate parental controls on their devices to ensure that their children can be free to use these technologies safely.
We have launched a series on Parental Controls for varying technologies in hopes this will be able to aid parents in making choices about how best to monitor their children.
The Internet can be a powerful tool for education, but without parental controls it can also open the door to content and situations that are not suitable for children. There are a variety of free and for-purchase ways you can control your child’s access to the Internet. Here are a few suggestions for parents to prepare their child for safe browsing:
- Talk with your child and be honest about internet safety. Visit NetSmartz.org’s page on statistics and be aware of the risks yourself. Many children are exposed to inappropriate material via the internet from strangers and peers. If you discuss the dangers and issues with your children and express your honest concern, it will be the beginning of an establishment of trust between you and your children. Also, if they know you are aware of these issues and problems, your children will be more likely to let you know if they see something they’re not supposed to, or have a friend who is bothering them with inappropriate materials. Keep abreast of technology. Children today are exposed to technology at a young level and are quickly surpassing their parents in skill level and understanding. While you don’t have to be a computer hacker to understand and use parental control software, it is important to become technologically savvy enough to use parental controls. You should also check them often enough to be sure they are in place.
- Remember your passwords. This sounds basic, but it’s incredibly important. Use passwords your children cannot guess and make sure they are secure. Use this website to check your passwords. If you have to write them down, make sure they are put in a place where your children will not be able to reach them (e.g. a safety deposit box).
- Establish rules about computer and technology use. You can put the computer in a common room and control how often your children are able to use it throughout the day.
- Check your browser history and learn about how children can delete it. You can download plug-ins or add-ons to your browsers to prevent history deletion. You can find some links below.
- There are a variety of browsers available for use, but the most common are Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome, Safari (Mac). Make sure to check your computer and ensure that no new browsers have been installed. You can also give your children their own sign-in that restricts access. Discuss how to set up this account with someone in a retail electronics store.
- Use some of the software below:
- Restrict Browsing in Internet Explorer
- Restrict Browsing In Firefox
- Restrict Browsing in Safari
- Blocking Websites in Chrome
- Internet Explorer History Tracker
- Firefox History Tracker
And, last but not least, NetSmartz has some good tips for parents about a variety of Internet safety issues here.
Be sure to keep an eye out for your kids, and don’t completely rely on technology to monitor them. Technology can help you keep track, but you should always supplement monitoring with communication and boundaries.
Good luck and safe browsing!
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