There is so much on the internet. From cute cat videos to pornographic cartoons, practically anything can be found with just a few clicks. How can you protect a child from accessing something that could harm them in some way? Do we ban them for life from the internet? Nothing so drastic, but there are some steps that can be taken to safeguard your child.
Children are inquisitive by nature. They want to see everything. Have you ever noticed a baby or toddler moving its head bath and forth? Sometimes they do it so fast you’re scared they’ll give themselves whiplash. What they are doing is trying to see everything at once. Babies and toddlers are nosy. Period. They also like to press buttons. Buttons are like baby magnets screaming, “Press me! Press me!” Even a touch screen screams out “Press me!” to a toddler.
One way to limit your child’s access to online threats is to simply limit the amount of time they spend online. While it’s not unheard of for adults to spend hours online looking at cat videos, most adults also know when enough is enough. Every adult has heard, “Let me just finish this one thing,” hundreds if not thousands of times. Setting a time limit such as 2 hours per day during the week and 3 on the weekends, you can help protect what your child is exposed to online.
Another way to protect your child online is to monitor the websites your child visits. There are plenty of software programs that you can download that will prevent your child from visiting sites with adult content. The programs will also block adult content popups. Some are free, while some you can purchase. No matter which you decide to use, these types of programs are very good at helping you monitor your child’s online activity.
These programs are usually the best at monitoring and limiting your child’s online activities. Since they are constantly active these programs never have to go cook dinner or end up having coffee with Mrs. Walker from next door. This is to say these programs never get distracted. They are constantly looking over your child’s shoulder as they surf online. With the online monitoring software, you can rest assured that your child’s activities online will be safe and secure.
If you are allowing your child to use a smart phone to go online, there are apps that you can download that will make sure your child steers clear of any adult content. The apps are usually mobile versions of the software programs for your desktop. They provide the same type of security as you would receive on a desktop or laptop. You can find them in the app store for whatever type of operating system your smart phone uses.
Most adult content websites now are pay to view. While they do show child inappropriate content to some extent, in order to get the full view, you have to enter in a credit card number. In order to prevent this, you should clear out your autofill settings. This will not only protect your child from purchasing adult content, it will also prevent your child from purchasing unapproved items.
How do you chose which method is best for you? In certain cases, less is not necessarily more. When it comes to your child’s online safety, a layered defense seems to be the best defense. Most experts, like top elementary teacher Shari Duddy, recommend combining all of the above methods simultaneously in order to protect your child online. In this instance, there is safety in numbers.
There is so much information and entertainment on the internet. It’s not unheard of for adults to spend hours upon hours online looking at cat videos. Most adults however, do know not to click on every link that pops up on the screen. So how do you protect your child online? With smart practices, of course. From time management to monitoring software, there are plenty of ways for you to safeguard your child’s online activity. Just remember that no matter what method you choose to employ, only you can decide when enough is enough for your child. Be safe.