If you are a parent, you may want to control what your children are doing online. Often, different Internet content can make a certain impression. The child can reproduce and learn from unwanted behavior. The Internet is like a big city with neither the police nor enough protection. You need to control the safety of your children on the Internet - parental controls.
The behavior of children (and not just children) depends very much on what information is received on a daily basis. In the background we can play the radio, TV is working, as well as we sit at a computer or smart device and miss a lot of information - advertisements, etc. We may not even pay close attention to it on a daily basis, but this content may settle in our minds over time.
Families usually spend a lot of time at home. Even more now - due to the emergency situation in Latvia related to the coronavirus disease COVID-19. Time at home means more hours online. For children, this time is spent in school-related online activities, doing homework, communicating with schoolmates and friends, having fun and playing games.
However, not everything that is online is desirable - suitable for children and teenagers.
How to look after and monitor what a child is doing? Are there any useful solutions to this issue?
You can monitor online time and activities in a variety of ways. You can provide guidance to your child, as well as sign in to your children's accounts to make sure they are followed. You may also want to consider parental control apps to help you manage some of these tasks.
If you're worried about your kids spending time online and how it's going, here are some tips on how to keep your kids safe when they go online.
Kids may seem to move from one screen to another all day, spending time with smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs.
You could consider limiting and enabling the number of hours allowed per day or per week.
You can plan time so that the total is balanced. For example, how much time is given for each device and program he / she is allowed to use.
Conversation and explanation are one of the most important weapons in a child's education and understanding. Take time and talk to your children so that they can begin to understand the usefulness of the media and practice self-regulation.
Conversation is also a good way to find out what they like to do online. You can also suggest new TV shows, music, movies, apps, and games for them to try.
For example, you could occasionally plan a simple family home evening without all those screens.
One option for you is to create your own email and social networking accounts for your child (if the child is old enough). Yes, it's a good idea to check what they're doing. The worse would be if the child started doing it in secret from you.
Let the children know that you plan to monitor their devices and why. Ask them to share account passwords. Explain that this is not about espionage, but about security.
It can help you find out what your kids are texting, downloading, searching for and watching. This knowledge could be used to initiate a dialogue on safety and precaution on the Internet.
For example, your children may face issues or content that they may feel insecure about.
If they encounter inappropriate content or online behavior, you can explain to them what online safety is and what to do to comply with it and how to be careful.
Once your children are informed and better informed about how to use the Internet safely, it is recommended that you consider monitoring them less often.
Social media can be a big challenge for children and teens. On the one hand, it can help strengthen relationships. On the other hand, it can potentially lead to low self-esteem - seeing others, trying to compare yourself to the people you see and their standards, and exposing yourself to cyberbullying.
The impact of social media is very different. Collaborating in Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams project groups or communicating with a new friend on Instagram can be helpful. But Snapchat or TikTok "scrolling" is not really the best pastime.
Talk to your kids about social media habits and the best ways to use their devices.
Encourage them to pay attention to how they feel before and after using social media. Discuss what makes them feel good or not so good.
You can help them solve problems, set restrictions on social media, tell them how to use privacy features and content filters.
What else? - You can get better habits from your child, so you will not spend too much time on your computer or smart devices yourself.
Often, information online is like a currency or a lottery. It can include good trade-offs for services, apps, programs, and games.
The risk? - Children may accidentally discover too much because they do not understand how to critically evaluate the information they receive.
Familiarize yourself with the sites your child visits, the social media they use, and the apps they download. Read reviews. Familiarize yourself with the site's terms and conditions to see what kind of information platforms track and store.
You can also download apps, play with them, and "make friends" with your child. This way, you'll be able to browse what your kids are doing online and share online from time to time.
Getting to the inappropriate site can be as simple as pressing the wrong key or clicking the wrong link. Depending on your child's age and maturity, you may want to consider restricting sites that you consider inappropriate. Continue to teach and educate children how to rate trusted sites.
The goal of all of the above is to help keep your children safe online by developing safe and smart online habits.
If you have any questions regarding how to implement safe Internet usage habits - contact Labs IT Serviss!
We will be happy to help!
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