COVID-19 came with a bang and completely distorted every aspect of our lives. The pandemic prompted global closure of schools and institutions in an attempt to flatten the curve. Now more than ever, children have turned to the digital space to maintain some form of normalcy. The internet is a great place for children to learn, communicate and get entertained. Nevertheless, it can also be a dangerous place where children can fall prey to indecent activities.
With children being among the most active internet users, they spend a substantial amount of time online. This access to the internet has brought about unlimited possibilities, however, they go hand-in-hand with the growing risks to children. Parents should use parental control apps such as FamiSafe to monitor all the activities their children engage in. FamiSafe is great in ensuring that parents know all their children’s activities and can track them in real-time. This is through the help of a locationtracker that monitors and reports the online activities of the children. FamiSafe allows parents to create geofences that alert the parents on a child’s arrival and departure. In addition to incorporating control apps in our day-to-day lives, below is a highlight of some ways that can assist parents to protect their children online;
- ENCOURAGE OPEN COMMUNICATION
Today’s children are exposed and well aware that they can find more than a million solutions to any question at a click of a button. Parents need to encourage open communication at a very tender age. If one is unwilling to start uncomfortable discussing with their child, someone else will. A parent should be the first to sit down with their child and talk them of the dangers of the internet such as cyberbullying, pornography, violence amongst other cybercrimes. Children are agents of change and they should be equipped with all the knowledge needed to navigate their online lives safely. Encourage your child to report any unsafe and inappropriate content.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PARENTAL CONTROLS
Much like you wouldn’t leave your child at home unattended, you shouldn’t give your child access to the internet unsupervised. Even if your child follows the rules, parental control apps like FamiSafe ensure your child’s safety as the digital world. Parental controls are easily downloadable with plenty of features to inform parents of their children activities and whereabouts through location tracking. Let your child know that you have installed these controls to establish trust and foster productive communication.
- EMPHASISE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIVACY
In today’s digital world, parents begin to document their child’s milestones right from birth. These steps are shared through photos and videos and families can have some good memories. Memorabilia is good but some may come back to haunt the child. Parents should uphold their child's privacy and encourage them to voice their opinion.
- SET APPROPRIATE BOUNDARIES
It's paramount to discuss digital boundaries with your child and set some screen time with them. Parental control apps have features that enable parents to set the exact time they want their children to be online and the particular sites they should be on. There ought to be a balance between online and offline activities and bedtime should always be adhered to.
- PLACE SMART DEVICES IN PUBLIC PLACES
Children should never have private access to the internet. Their phones, computers and laptops should be in a place where a parent can walk by or easily see what’s going on. The internet is a chock-full of both good and bad content so close monitoring is essential.