We know that your family is the most important part of your life and you would do anything to keep them safe. With the news stations broadcasting terrible atrocities constantly, gathering your children safe and sound within the walls of your home is a very comforting thing as a parent.
But with the advancement of technology, keeping kids “safe and sound” at home is no longer as simple as physically keeping them indoors. Some dangers can be just as easily accessed within the walls of your home. As your child gets older, you may be surprised how easily they understand how to navigate the Internet and how tech savvy they quickly become (sometimes even more so than you!). What you learned later in life, your kids are learning to do as little children and technology come as second nature to them.
While the Internet is incredibly useful and educational, it can also yield an equal (or some would argue greater) amount of potentially destructive dangers, just waiting for your child to click on. As Internet experts, we’ve put together six ways you can keep your family safe.
1) Keep the computer in a visible place
If you are one of the rare families that only use desktop computers, this suggestion is for you. Placing your computer in an open, conspicuous spot, where at any moment a family member can see what is being viewed and discourages secretive, inappropriate viewing.
If you have a laptop, making rules that it may only be used in family areas such as the living room or kitchen table are also good ideas.
2) Secure your Wi-fi network
Create a strong password with symbols and numbers that only you know. Creating a difficult-to-crack password prevents intruders from accessing your network and compromising your internet security. Having a hard time remembering all those passwords? Try a password manager, like LastPass, to help out.
3) Don’t overshare on social media
On Facebook alone (if you have a public profile), someone snooping for your information can find your first and last name, city, occupation, and more. Photos from your vacation can tell people that your home is vacant and a perfect target for robbery. If you have location services enabled on your smartphone photos, they can even access the exact location of your house. Be very careful what you share with strangers online and ensure your privacy settings reflect your preferences.
4) Hide the webcam
With Skype and other video chat websites, your child could be coerced into revealing more than you want them to share with anyone. These videos could then be spread all over the internet and forever accessible in the world of child pornography. Restrict usage of webcams by storing it somewhere only you know and bringing it out when you can monitor.
5) Educate your children
Be open with your children about the dangers of the internet. Protecting their innocence will not do them any favors with this subject. They need to know about the bad guys out there that want to harm or exploit them. Let them know there are rules for a reason. Educating them on the dangers of child predators is essential. You are not the bad guy, but rather just love them and want them to be safe and happy.
6) Install parental monitoring
You want to trust your children and teenagers, but sometimes you just want extra reassurance that they are looking at what they say they are. Your eyes won’t always be able to follow their every action and having a backup to see what they view is very comforting. Take advantage of the browsing history features of Guardian. Even if they delete their browsing history on their device, you can still access the recent history. Whether you let your children know about this parental control is up to you, but you’ll be glad to have it for your peace of mind.
The Internet can provide a wealth of education and wholesome entertainment, but safeguarding your family against the potential dangers is vital for their safety. As a parent, you would do anything to make sure your children live a safe and happy life. At Safelink, we understand that and know that keeping them protected online is one way to do that. For more information on protecting your family while they’re online, check out our Guardian Service. This service is provided for free with your Safelink Internet service.