Protecting our children online

The Internet has revolutionised the way most of us live our lives. It has opened up access to news, knowledge, entertainment, friends and much more on our computers and now our phones. But the Internet, which is more accessible than ever in our homes, also opens up access to very undesirable and potentially dangerous persons and material, especially when it comes to children.  Our younger generation will not know of a live before internet access – it is so accessible to all, even if they don’t own a PC or laptop in their own home then they will have access in the libraries and at school too. When I was at school we had one PC upstairs in the bedroom and we all shared it – phones didn’t have internet access and no one had a laptop in my house.

Now in my house alone, we have 2 laptops, 3 smart phones and 2 tablets and computer consoles which can all access the internet – times change and I do worry about the kids and how easy things are to access today.

Most devices, including phones and games consoles, allow parents to completely block or password protect access to the Internet. Some parents may decide to use this option, but some may find it excessive and want to allow access to the safest parts of the Internet.

Thankfully, sophisticated filtering technologies are available, which allow parents to reduce the risk of children coming across pornographic, violent, criminal or otherwise undesirable content. These software packages that ensure internet security, some of which are available for free, give parents a great deal of control. Parents can choose which website categories (such as gambling websites) are blocked. Parents can also monitor their child’s web use and restrict the time spent on the web.

Young people spend on average twelve hours per week online, and an increasing amount of time is spent on phones and consoles.  Parental controls mean you can be certain your child is always protected when using your home devices – it is also much harder for technologically savvy young people to circumvent this kind of control.  I know I have set the parenting controls to the family Kindle Fire HDX – both Emmy and Harry have their own games on there, they do also have the timing control set by myself so they can’t play for too long.

 Despite the tremendous increase in safety these filters and controls provide, the Internet will still be a dangerous place. Parents need to confidently address the subject of internet safety with their children, ensure their accounts on social media feature appropriate content and are protected, and monitor all web use.

This is a collaborative post




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