In this digital age, it’s hard to imagine life without internet access, even for kids. Many educational reading courses require internet usage for research, homework and other activities. As a result, modern children have access to web-based resources beyond what their parents had in their youth.
However, there are threats lurking in cyberspace that parents and kids need to be aware of. Identity thieves, inappropriate content and spear phishing criminals are among the many dangers that young ones face when they get onto the information highway.
Most parents focus on social networking safety when it comes to protect kids online, but there’s more to worry about, including nasty sites. When internet users reached critical mass, sites with inappropriate content pop up like mushrooms. Kids, when accessing the internet, may encounter this content by accident. Adult sites, sites promoting gambling, education cheating sites – there are a lot of sites on the web your children shouldn’t access.
Ultimately, the task of keeping children safe from becoming pray to these threats fall to their guardians or parents. In order to prevent young ones from accessing inappropriate material you need to understand the tools and strategies that exist for defending children. Here’s what you should do:
Use OpenDNS Family Shield
This is a free service that utilizes a specifically configured DNS (domain name server) to secure devices that accesses the web through your WiFi router. Imagine it as a phone book for the web. Whenever you enter a URL address (like msn.com), the browser of your devices uses a DNS to convert the URL into an IP address that servers can understand. With OpenDNS, you have the ability to select which types of websites to block in over 50 categories, as well as create blacklists and whitelists.
OpenDNS will require you to configure your WiFi settings. The most difficult part is remembering the password for the router. Anyone accessing the internet through the particular router will have to play by similar rules. With kids in the house, parents are going to find these limitations challenging.
Internet Security Protection
Some internet security software comes with built-in options to limit kids’ access to inappropriate websites as well as to control which desktop apps kids have access to. These features can be activated on several devices including Windows and Mac PCs and iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
The added benefit of a modern web security program is that it may also include features that parents can use to protect their own privacy on social networks. New programs also offer browser-based protection for safe online banking and other financial activities.
Even the mere mention of words like pornography stirs up controversy. The discussion is taboo for some parents, while others are uncertain about how to talk about it with their child. Whatever type you fall into, it is a matter of time before your kid comes across questionable content. Despite all protections, there are instances where dubious material gets through.
Ignoring the topics don’t assist the child with the subject when shocking material suddenly appears on their screen. Talk openly with your child about your own beliefs and views regarding inappropriate material is beneficial. Convey to them at some point they may come across questionable content. And when they do, encourage them to show you what they viewed and discuss calmly.