7 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe Online
The Internet has its perks as it allows children to access educational materials and keep in touch with their friends, however, it can also be dangerous. Here are a few ways to minimise the potential harm being online can cause to your child:
1. Block access to explicit websites
While you might not be able to stop your child from using the Internet altogether, you can always filter out what they can see to make sure they’re as safe as possible. There is various parental control software that monitors online content and blocks explicit websites, such as Qustodio or Net Nanny.
2. Learn about different apps
To keep your child safe, it’s also important to understand what they do when they use certain apps; some platforms such as Instagram allow them to post photos that can be accessed by strangers while others, such as Whatsapp, are used to chat with friends, which poses a set of different challenges. When you know how they spend their time on social media, you’re more aware of potential risks and can start the right conversation when necessary.
3. Download an anti-virus
Another risk is malware that can pop up on websites related to music or video games, and damage or gain access to your device. To prevent malware, remember to install anti-virus software.
4. Teach your child about risks
Younger children might be unaware of potential risks resulting from online activity such as scams and following unknown links that might damage the device or expose them to explicit material, so it’s important to teach them how to recognise them. With older children, it’s beneficial to discuss the potential dangers of talking to strangers and sharing information about themselves.
5. Use privacy settings
Privacy settings will ensure that your child’s whereabouts won’t be known to a stranger; for example, you can turn off their location and make sure that their Facebook profile can be only found by friends of friends.
6. Talk to your child about the impact of social media
It’s impossible to prevent your child from being on social media but you can still talk to them about its potential consequences and minimise the negative impact it might have on their mental health. For example, you can explain to them that most things they see online are a distorted version of reality and that they should remember not to compare themselves to others.
7. Set boundaries
If your child spends most of the day on their electronic devices and you can see that it has a negative impact on their health, it’s worth setting a limit on daily usage and trying to engage them in different activities instead.
If you’re concerned about your child’s behaviour and need someone to talk to, contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat