How to keep kids safe online

July 17 2019

While the experts at ADT can help keep your kids safe physically by securing your homes, we often don’t have much control when they step into the cyber world.

The internet is an increasingly scary place, especially for parents. We’ve all read the horror stories about everything from predators in chat rooms, to games encouraging spending and sparking gambling habits.

In fact, according to the 2018 Ofcom report just 54% of parents think the benefits of the internet outweigh the risks, as opposed to 65% back in 2011*.

Unfortunately, it’s not going away any time soon. And with a bit of cyber education, innovative tech and common sense, we can keep our kids safer online. Here are our top tips on how to enforce internet safety for children:

Start talking

First thing’s first, talk to your children about online protection just like you would road safety or stranger danger. Education is key to make sure they know what to look out for online to stay safe.

Some topics you might want to research and chat about could be: online spending, cyber bullying, what’s safe to share online, talking to strangers and harmful sites like pornography and those encouraging eating disorders.

Take control

Parental controls are there for a reason. These handy features, found in most devices’ settings, allow you to restrict things like the amount of time kids spend online, what they can access and the information they can share.

Available on most internet-ready devices – including games consoles, phones and tablets, they’re an easy way to monitor and restrict what your children do online.

Keep it communal

Make a rule that computers and tablets are only allowed in common areas of the home. Although it’s not possible to watch their every move, you’d be surprised at what just having you in the room does.

Your presence will often stop children from surfing the web when they’re meant to be doing homework or getting some sleep. And accessing sites they know are off limits.

Surf together

If you’re trying to get used to the thought of your little ones using the Internet safely, why not spend time on the internet with them? Next time they’re researching for homework, or doing a bit of shopping, use it as an excuse to spend some quality time with them and build good habits.

Lead by example

Children growing up today will have lived watching their parents use social media. So why not lead by example? This could be thinking twice before posting photos of your children or other personal information online, or limiting the amount of time you spend on the internet in front of them.

Get techy

There are devices out there you can buy that completely overhaul your child’s access to the internet. You can set strict times of use, filter content and even pause the internet completely.

They do this by providing a barrier between the devices and the router and can be set by profile, meaning older children and parents have a different level of access.

So, there you have it, ADT’s stop tips for child safety online. Have we missed anything? We’d love to hear what you do to keep your children safe online. Drop us a comment on Facebook or get in touch on Twitter today.

*https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/134907/Children-and-Parents-Media-Use-and-Attitudes-2018.pdf

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