Do you know that an estimated number of 1.5 billion kids are out of school worldwide? Thanks to this coronavirus pandemic! The widespread social distancing measures have made parents particularly conscious about their kids. As a result, kids are confined to their homes.
Their education, entertainment, and socialization have shifted online. Many children have been introduced to the online world for the first time. Children are spending more time online than ever. They are beginning to know why plans like Cox internet essential are actually vital amenities.
As adults, we are aware that the internet is not a safe place for kids to be left alone to explore. They will need assistance and check to be able to use the internet safely.
Threats to Kids’ Online Safety
As mentioned already, kids are more vulnerable to online threats. These threats include harassment, privacy invasion, cyberbullying, and so on. This is where the effectiveness of parental controls come into the picture.
Being a vigilant, responsible, and protective parent, you need to protect your children using the parental control tracking software, apps, and so on. You also need to have this conversation with your kids about the risks online. And how can they avoid them if they encounter such a risk!
Let’s discuss some foolproof tips to ensure a safe online environment for your children. We will also discuss the gear and software you can use to ensure effective parental controls.
You can configure parental controls on your router. This will ensure internet filtering on every device connected to your internet network. Modern routers come with built-in parental controls. All you need to do is to set up and activate them following the instructions in the router’s manual.
For router without parental controls, leverage DNS for your router for filtering online content.
The Operating System of Your Device
All your devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers come with handy parental control in their operating system. Explore your OS and you will find built-in parental controls to take advantage of.
Make sure you keep your operating system updated. This will maximize the effectiveness of parental controls.
Parental Controls Offered by Your ISP
There are several internet service providers, which offer parental controls. Get in touch with their customer support service to know what they have to offer. You can also find this info on their official website.
Software Controls and Apps
You can take advantage of a plethora of apps and software that allow you to implement parental controls. These apps and software have various functionalities. You can leverage them to limit screen time. Monitor your kids’ online activities, block spammy and inappropriate websites, and so on.
It will take online research to figure out the apps and software that suit you the best.
Web Browsers and Kids Browsers
On all the popular web browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and others, you can set up parental controls. To tweak the settings and make the browsers more kid-friendly and age-appropriate, you can explore the settings and choose add-ons.
Moreover, there are browsers designed specifically for young kids. They have default controls and web filtering. However, these browsers can be a little too limiting for older kids.
Mobile Devices & Tablets
Devices like smartphones and tablets also come with parental controls. To enhance these settings, you can download more apps to do the job for you.
Filter Out the Inappropriate Content
You can also leverage filters to limit the content and sites for your kids to view online. These filters will weed out inappropriate sites and content automatically. Check with your internet provider to know if they offer any internet filters.
By using these filters, you can control the viewable content and sites on various devices. For instance, you can turn on the “safe search” filter in Google Images and Google Search on your children’s devices. This will weed out a considerable amount of inappropriate search results, if not all.
You can also invest in parental control software. The price range is $15 to $100. Some of them can create filters on every device in your house. While others can do the job on an individual device. You can choose one according to your needs.
You can also get parental control apps, which are specifically designed for your kids’ tablets and phones. You can easily find them in the app store of your mobile/tablet. Prices range around $10 to $30. They can track your kids’ browsing, restrict inappropriate apps, and prevent changing passwords without your consent.
Enlighten Your Children about Online Safety
Based on their comprehension level and age, you need to educate your kids about online safety. Enlighten them about the gravity of online threats. Assist them in understanding the significance of managing their personal info. Make them aware of the importance of confidentiality.
As a parent, it’s your duty to introduce the concepts of privacy, online safety, and potential online threats. Ask them about what online activities do they enjoy. And tell them about the safe options of online enjoyment such as gaming, watching animated movies and snippets, and so on.
I have subscribed to a Cox internet plan and because I have two kids, I called Cox Complete Care phone number and explored my parental control options. And turns out that there were quite a few. So, get in touch with your ISP to know yours.