For parents, protecting children is an endless struggle. With children now spending so much of their time in Internet, the prompts of the type "we look carefully before we cross the road" and "we do not talk to strangers" now acquire a completely new dimension.
So how do you really know what your kids are doing online? And how do you make sure your kids are kept out of trouble?
The experts of the cyber security company ESET give some basic guidelines for what you can do to help keep your children safe online. For those of you who want to know more about 'child and safety at Internet»You can visit it website saferkidsonline of ESET.
Pay attention to the indications
As a parent, you know your children better than anyone. You realize it when something goes wrong. Fortunately, some changes in their behavior are obvious and it is these changes that will lead you to understand your child's relationship with the internet, social media and their connected devices.
Internet connection late at night?
An example is frequent late night internet browsing. "The day sees the make-up at night and laughs," says the proverb. Much of the dangerous or inappropriate use of the internet happens late at night when children are alone with their devices. Fortunately, there are some practices you can follow to monitor or even limit this behavior:
Record the time they spend in front of the screen, usage and activity history in Internet. This way you can learn a lot about what your children are doing online. Most "smart" phones now include applications that monitor the usage time of the device, dividing it by application, time of day and so on. These usage reports are a great starting point for parents.
Keep appliances out of their bedroom. If children are going to use smartphones, tablets or computers after school, make sure they do it in a common area where there are parents, siblings or carers. Simply put: the phone, tablet or laptop stays out of their room after a certain time of night.
Set time limits and set usage hours. A simple but effective tactic. Establish a specific limit beyond which children are no longer allowed to use their devices. Alternatively, you can impose usage limits and restrictions on each device you use software Stopntal Control.
Pay attention to your… banking transactions
We often meet parents who did not know that their children were spending money on micro-transactions in the context of using an application. This can happen when, for example, the devices are connected to the parents' bank account or when the two-factor authentication for purchases is not set up (or the feature is intentionally turned off).
A 2020 survey found that 31% of parents said their children were spending money on the Fortnite online video game. There are worrying cases where children have inadvertently emptied their parents' bank accounts into in-app purchases. We recommend that you periodically check your bank receipts to make sure that no such surprises occur.
Ask yourself a few questions:
Do you know which bank accounts your children have access to?
Does your child have the ability to download and install free or paid applications on their devices?
Are your kids authorized to make in-app purchases or order products from your Amazon account?
Distant, secretive, or new and unexplained behavior
You know your children better and there are some signs that can help you prevent serious situations such as cyberbullying, online grooming or digital addiction. Pay attention to the signs:
Hiding accounts, emails and other online behavior is a common sign that children may be doing something offensive online.
Moving away from family life. Pedophiles work very hard to get a wedge between the child and his family and will try to take advantage of these relationships to gain more influence.
Physical changes, loss of appetite, mood swings and school avoidance could be indicators of cyberbullying. Learn more about how to find out if your child has been bullied in cyberspace.
What to do if you notice any of the behaviors
Talk to your child about the potential dangers of cyberspace. Speak to them openly and honestly if in doubt. Educate your children about the types of malicious people they may meet online so that they know how to protect themselves. Often, this process is an opportunity to educate both your children and you parents.
You can also spend some time with kids online and let them show you their favorite websites, social media platforms and apps. Ask them to show you what they like most about these media, the way they usually use them.
If you choose to monitor the use of devices and applications using software Parental Control Inform your children how and why you do it. This can help enhance safe browsing procedures.
Use an online safety tool to gain more control over what your child does online. THE ideal solution security should include strong parental controls for all your devices. With such a solution you will be able to limit the time your child spends playing games or while browsing the Internet, monitor and limit the time spent in front of the screen and filter specific categories of content.
However, this solution has to do with more than just control. It has to do with educating children about their online safety and opening up a dialogue about content that is appropriate for them. Through such solutions, your children will be able to understand what is okay, as they will ask your permission to access sites you have previously blocked or ask you for extra time to play games or browse the Internet.
Usually, working with children, with open and transparent conversations, is the best way to know what they are doing online.