Gone are the days when children’s access to their parents’ mobile devices and computers were a luxury. It is almost second nature for kids these days to make use of these mobile gadgets; from when their motor skills start developing as babies through to when they become young adults. Parents even rely on these devices to entertain kids, for educational materials etc.
The internet has made a lot of these things a lot easier, but there is a downside to this – criminal activities and other vices have made their way into the web and its easiest target are children of different age range.
There is no guarantee that as parents, you will always be present when your kids are using the internet and a total ban on the use of the internet for kids is almost impossible. Hence, there are measures to be put in place to ensure the safety of these kids online.
Here are a few of them:
For kids of age 0-10:
- Provide tablets and laptops specially made for them. These devices come with highly educative materials tailored for kids of this range, and it will keep them away from your own devices too.
- Be strict with their screentime: the use of these gadgets should be restricted to certain hours of the day, to curb addiction and for ease in monitoring what they are exposed to. Most importantly, lead by example; show restraint when it comes to the use of your mobile gadgets in their presence. It will help them o cultivate the culture
- Do not neglect Parental control on the television too: kids love to watch TV and a lot of satellite bouquet have tons of channels for kids, however there are also several other channels that air adult content and violence. But the positive side of these service providers is that most of them provide a PARENTAL CONTROL option which temporarily locks these adult channels with a password when it is activated
For teens/young adults
Kids that fall under this group should be a bit independent; strict measures don’t do much to curb them from online hazards, as they would always find a way around it whenever they want to.
The best means of ensuring they are safe online.
1. First and most importantly early orientation– they should be well oriented about online crimes and vices such as cyberbullying, pornography, hacking and so on, long before they canfinally own Internet-enabled devices.
- Be open to them well enough so they can always confide in you whenever they are faced with any of the aforementioned vices.
- It is also important to know about the social media apps they utilize and so also follow, this might give them a sense of responsibility about what their content online should like since they are aware of the scrutiny they are under.
- Ensure you always monitor their screentime also, since mobile phones are a bit too distracting for school kids. This is to make sure their academics as well as relating with family and friends around doesn’t suffer.