The lethal effects of inappropriate online content are not limited to older kids. According to a recent survey, children of the age of more than one year now use the internet for watching video content.
In the age of 12-17, around 88% to 91% get the access to the internet through smartphones and other devices. In the age of 7-8, approximately 20%-23% get access to the internet. 55% percent of children of ages 9-13 own smartphones and tablets. And at the age of 2 or younger, 35% to 38% use the internet for media on different devices
Moreover, one in four children who use the internet encountered disastrous pornography……..
Do we have your attention now?
There is no denying that internet revolutionizes our life. It’s the best place to gain knowledge and educate ourselves about numerous things by just searching for it on the internet.
But since the internet is an open platform, and it is difficult to control what content should your children access and who should they communicate with. Therefore, there are some aspects, which makes it a minacious place -specifically for children.
In this modern world, where everything is now dependent on the internet to make our lives more efficient, but at the same time due to its extensive use, group of anonymous hackers, infelicitous content and child molesters have more opportunity to reach out your children.
And the engagement of children with a dark side of the internet could ruin your child rest of life. For this, at Onlineprivacytips.co, I did an extensive research to provide you with practical tips and educate you regarding how to safeguard your children online.
The primary purpose of this research is to educate parents about how they can manage to monitor and to analyze the online activities of their children. And how to turn on the parental control feature on multiple OS (such as Windows, Android, and Apple) to limit and stop their children from malapropos or undesirable content.
Moreover, in this blog, I will also provide you with some incredible psychological tips that make your children secure from the dark side of the internet. Also, different third-party apps that help you to safeguard your children online from inappropriate content.
But before stepping towards useful tips and suggestion to protect children online, I think it is necessary to explain Parental Control and why it becomes so essential these days.
What is Parental Controls?
In simple terms, Parental Controls are tools, features, and software that allow controlling children online activities. This is the most befitting way to keep your children away from the dark online content.
By using Parental Controls, parents can get the real-time access regarding what kind of activity their children do online or what types of app they use or what kind of websites they are browsing. In this way, they can stop their children from inappropriate content before it affects their minds.
Moreover, these Parental Controls are easy to setup on different devices. So what types of features do Parental Control offers?
Types of Parental Control
Primarily there are three types of controls:
- Offers overall router protecting feature- by using Parental Controls, you can apply the restrictions on the home router to block different dark websites, which are not suitable for children mind.
- Many Operating Systems (OS) offers built-in Parental Control feature – by using this feature, parents can restrict different apps on smartphones or tablets.
- Offers Apps control whether it is entirely on OS for some specific programs or just on applications such as Google Chrome, YouTube, iOS, Android and Windows.
How Parental Control Feature Works?
Parental Controls offer multiple features that work effectively to control the children online activities and keep them away from inappropriate content. Some of the main features are as follows:
- By setting up the controls mentioned above, it helps to block the filter the online content, which you don’t want your children to see or read such as adultery content, violence, pornography, etc.
- Restrict the children regarding what information they can to share not.
- Set the number of hours for children to access the internet in a specific period.
- Set restricted profiles for children from where they can access the internet without getting into undesired content.
- Also, control the time of day that children can access the internet on the daily and weekly basis (do not allow them to use the internet in privacy such as a bedroom).
The Precariousness of the Internet for Children
After what I found regarding dark online content to brainwash innocent children, I was eager to put my heart out in pain. It was tough for me to control my nerves after seeing the inappropriate online content.
Believe me; if we cannot stop and protect our children from this injudicious online content, the consequences will be incurable. Limiting children time to access the internet is not enough to safeguard them from inappropriate online content.
In today’s time, children are very ingenious due to the regular exposure of connecting devices. They know better than parents how to use things online. Parents are not aware of what kind of freakish content their children are browsing and seeing on the internet.
Due to the lack of attention by authorized institutions, there is an open sea for online marketers and online child molesters who engage children in malicious dark content.
The reason for putting this kind of lurgy reality of the internet is not to scare parents, but to give them a wake-up call that they have to choose a different path to safeguard their children online.
The rise of technology creates specific tools and apps that could help us to safeguard our young generation from online molesters and content. And how these tools and apps can assist parents to protect children from the dark side of the internet, will discussed in detail in just a bit.
Before that, I think it is essential to unfold what kind of online content is precariousness for children. Otherwise, this might be the case that parents would restrict their children from academic content.
At Onlineprivacytips.co, our online privacy team revealed a large side of the online world. The research provides clues that freedom of internet leads to giving rise to pornographic websites.
Moreover, child molesters are taking advantage of this online freedom. They set their content anonymously on different websites like YouTube to engage them by showing false images and videos. This online freedom leads to browsing anything on the internet can result in child exposure to inappropriate dark content.
A few days ago, my seven-year-old daughter was trying to find something on the internet related to her homework. She mistyped the spelling of ‘saxophone’ to ‘sexophone’ and end up with the following suggestions:
- Sexy saxophone
- Sexism meaning
- Sexting meaning and so on
Thankfully, I was sitting with her and rush down to close the tab before she taps on the “search” button. Now you get a little idea why I am so curious about safeguarding children online.
This is just one encounter and I am not done here. There are still lots of things on the internet that can be dangerous for children nowadays.
Open Chat Platforms
Since the rise of social platforms is at peak due to what Facebook did in the near past, the chance of getting involved in dark side content online for children is very high.
There are thousands of online child molesters roaming on these social platforms and trying to establish a friendship with your child by using a fake profile, and as they gain their trust, they start showing them inappropriate content.
The second most dangerous impact of inappropriate dark content is through Cyber-Bullying. To understand cyber-bullying, in simple words, using and showing a type of material which makes a person sad, emotional, angry and all kind of feelings that leads a person towards suicidal attempts.
There are multiple examples of cyberbullying, but one of the most popular recent is Blue Whale attack and Momo challenge on WhatsApp.
Patterns of such behavior would be sending hurtful texts or emails and posting harmful items on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Other examples include spreading hurtful rumors publicly via social networks, group texts or social postings.
It is difficult to estimate precisely how common cyberbullying is among kids. The definition of cyberbullying changes according to who is doing the measuring. However, the respected Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 15.5% of high-schoolers are affected by cyberbullying. For a bit of a comparison, in-person bullying is expected to change a little over 20% of high school students.
Tips to Safeguard Children on Immediate Basis
With all these dangers, here are some useful tips to safeguard your children online:
Set the Connected Devices in Common Area of the House
Don’t allow kids to have a computer in their room. You’d be surprised by how much the mere presence of a parent who may or may not is looking over a child’s shoulder while they use the computer can keep a child in line.
They have no way of knowing if your eyes are good enough to see across the room, now do they? Make sure the computer’s screen is visible from other parts of the room and isn’t turned toward a wall.
Ask for Children to Assist You in Learning About Internet
While folks are now more knowledgeable about computers and mobile devices than ever, it never hurts to learn a bit more. Look for information from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), online resources, or yes, the library. Don’t be embarrassed to pick up a “Dummies” book on the subject (you can buy it on your Kindle or from iBooks. No one will ever be the wiser).
Spend Online Time With Your Children
The family that surfs together…Well, I can’t think of anything that rhymes with it at the moment, but make browsing the web a family thing (just like watching television was for most of us many years ago.) Hang out with your kids and help them with their homework online, searching for information together. But, make sure to put the Google search filter on “safe.”
Do not Allow to use Internet When you are not Around
Set rules about what your child can and can’t do when on the internet. Set time limits on their computer use. If they say they’re researching homework, maybe you don’t include that in the time limits. But make sure they’re using it for homework.
Hint: watching episodes of “Rick and Morty” is hardly ever a required element in homework assignments.
Educate Children Regarding Danger of Internet
Sit down and discuss the dangers of the internet. Talk openly and honestly about what’s out there and the kind of stuff they want to avoid. Scare the crap out of them, if needed. Forewarned is forearmed.
Never Talk to Strangers
Chat rooms are a favorite place for sex offenders to meet their prey. If possible, keep your kids out of chat rooms altogether. Make sure your child knows that no matter how beautiful an online “friend” may seem to be, they are still a stranger, and may not be who they appear to be?
Do not Share Your Personal Information Online
Kids may not understand how giving out personal info like their phone number or address could be harmful. They may also want to meet their new “buddy” in real life for ice cream or a Coke. Say no, and never allow that.
Never Share Your Photos and Videos on Online Open Chat Rooms
Online predators will often send photos supposedly of themselves or request pictures of the child. If your child does receive pictures from an online “buddy,” and they’re at all questionable, immediately contact the police or your ISP.
I hope you know about the dangers our children are exposed to online. It is the harsh reality we live in today and there is no escaping it. With the advancement of technology, these threats will continue to rise and it’s about time you know about them do something about it.
The tips I have mentioned in this guide will help you protect your kids from most of these threats. If you find or use other measures to protect your children online, do share it with us in the comments below.