How to Protect Children Online

Computers and the internet are obviously among the best technological innovations throughout mankind’s history. The internet provides a medium for communication, for trade, and a readily accessible place to learn or acquire information. The bad news is that criminals and fraudsters are now rampant online making the internet a lucrative and easy platform for them to deceive potential victims. And considered the most vulnerable to these attacks are children and teens. There are too many online and mobile security threats to children because they are naturally curious and gets easily tricked or lured.

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How do you protect your children when they browse online or use the internet? Here are some of the best ways or parental controls:

  1. Install software that protects your computer against viruses, malwares, and spam. The first line of defense for you and your child’s computer or mobile device is the installation of an anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spam software. When you buy a good anti-virus program, the other two are usually bundled together with it. You might also want to download and install advertisement blocking software for your internet browser.
  2. Adjust your firewall and security settings to maximum.  Once you have a good anti-virus or anti-spam software installed, adjust the security and filtering settings to the maximum level before letting the children use the computer. This also applies to your internet firewall.
  3. Monitor your child’s online activity. Instead of leaving your child alone in the computer, why not stay on his/her side while your child is doing a research or perhaps while playing. If you need to leave, there are now computer programs which can help you monitor the internet activity of your child. The simplest way to do so is to have a peek at the computer’s browsing history.
  4. Block specific websites on your browser. You might also want to block specific websites you don’t want your child to access. This can be done on your web browser’s options or settings.
  5. Install a browser designed for children. There are now internet browsers designed especially for children like Kid Browser. Downloading and installing them can already reduce that need for extensive parental controls.
  6. Install parental control or monitoring apps on their mobile phone. Adaptive Mobile would advise that since most children and teens now have their own mobile or smart phones, the mobile security threats to children now extend to these gadgets. There are now apps that also provide filtering and screening for your child’s mobile internet activity so it pays to download and install them.
  7. Tell your children to ignore anonymous emails and offers. Majority of online attacks are usually done through anonymous emails and offers. Thus, it is best if you advice your children to just ignore them no matter how good the offers are.
  8. Discourage them from using or at least be careful with social networking sites. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram are very popular. But there are various security and most specially privacy issues associated with the use of these sites. For very young children, prohibit them from using these or at least teach them how to be careful and be wary of their privacy.
  9. Never link personal or financial information with you or your child’s device. There are now gadgets like tablets and mobile phones where personal and financial or credit card data can be automatically linked for ease of use. But this is highly discouraged. Check and start disconnecting them before the device eventually gets stolen or hacked.
  10. Educate your children about all potential online risks. Finally with all those parental controls, nothing beats the idea of sitting down with your child and educating him/her with all the risks lingering on the World Wide Web.

Sam

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