Updated May 6, 2019
Living without the Internet would be tough these days, given just how much easier life becomes after embracing it. But the Internet is like the wild west: everyone passes through, but not everyone can or should be trusted. Some people make their living out of hijacking the sites, passwords and banking details of honest users and businesses, so it pays to be careful.
Protecting yourself comes down to common sense, but a lot of users neglect to protect themselves online. Really, a lack of understanding of how the Internet works doesn’t cut it as a defense. It certainly doesn’t prevent you from losing everything.
There are a ton of ways a user can stay protected, whether it’s using software or even just by following some simple safety measures. And the same applies to parents too.
There’s a lot of adult material available on the web, and malicious users hoping to prey on impressionable children. As a parent, it’s important to understand all the ways to secure your children’s experience on the Internet. We require the Internet so much in our lives that children should be taught how to use it safely because banning the use of it as a form of protection is futile.
Below are some simple ways you can keep an eye on your kids online.
Use a VPN to keep their online activities safe and secure
The most effective way of ensuring that your children’s online activity is private and secure is by using a VPN. The technology encrypts online traffic on the devices your children are using, making it impossible for hackers to snoop on them and use the information gathered for nefarious purposes. Use a leading VPN that offers powerful encryption, a wide range of security protocols and an intuitive interface that the kids can easily use.
A VPN is only useful when it’s turned on, so it’s important to make sure it’s connected and running.
Use other online tools to keep your child safe
Besides a VPN, there are other online tools that you can use to ensure your children are protected while they’re online. If their online usage is quite high, the most popular apps and programs below will likely interest you.
- Circle with Disney: offers full control of content.
- Family Link by Google: control usage of apps.
- Amazon Freetime: offers integrated parental control.
- Qustudio: supervises and monitors children’s online activity.
- Norton Family: protects your children’s personal information.
- Ourpact: location tracking.
- Net Nanny: stops children from viewing inappropriate content.
Teach them the ways to avoid hacks/scams
Caution should be exercised whenever we’re online, whether you’re an adult or a kid. In the same way, we’ve learned how to spot potential malicious content as we browse the web, we should also take time to teach our kids the same. The more they know what to look out for makes it less likely they’ll fall for online scams or security breaches.
Enable safety settings on major websites
Most major websites have settings for filtering content. Enable these settings. For example, turn on Google’s ‘Safe Search’ feature for all devices that your children use to access the Internet. The same goes for other websites such as YouTube and Netflix. This adds another layer of safety above the installation of the tools mentioned earlier.
Understand the nature and risks of online gaming
Online gaming makes it possible to match up with other players across the world in real time. It can be a great way for children to immerse themselves in a world of adventure. However, it’s important to make sure they’re safe within online communities.
Be aware that all age groups game online, and there’s often no discrimination placed on age either, meaning all people can play together. That includes all the obnoxious teens, edgy kids and annoying punks of all ages.
There’s not much you can do in the way of ensuring they avoid this. The best thing to do as a parent is to teach them about how people often communicate through games; not to take it seriously and try not to get offended or coerced. People might try and convince children to hand over in-game currency through misplaced trust, for example, or in-game possessions they’ve spent their own money on.