It’s back-to-school time again, which means your kids are going to be online more than ever! If you’re buying them their own computer, or upgrading the family computer, it’s a good idea to get a refresher on online safety for kids. Protect your family with these back-to-school computer tips for parents!
As much as you’d love to believe your kids are just using the computer or tablet for homework and research, the reality is that today’s kid’s socialize and experience the world around them online. While you want to establish some trust with your children, you do want to make sure they are engaging with appropriate content for their age.
One way to monitor YouTube is to establish a family account on Google. This way, as a parent you can check to see what your children are watching. You can also set up parental controls. Set the account to restricted mode, so inappropriate content will be filtered out.
Also, check that the account is subscribed to only kid-friendly YouTube channels. The more you’re subscribed to, the more related content will be recommended. This way the suggested videos will all be family-friendly.
Family computers can be incredibly vulnerable to viruses if you don’t take the proper precautions. Above all, you need to regularly remind your kids of the responsibilities of using a computer. Now that it’s back-to-school time, your kids will be online doing homework and chatting and playing games with friends. While you don’t want your kids to be scared or paranoid about being online, but you do want them to be discerning about the types of content they click on.
That said, mistakes will be made – by yourself and your kids, probably – so your best defence is a good offence. And by offence we mean anti-virus software.
Whether your kids are playing online games with social aspects, or have accounts with any number of social media sites, it’s important to discuss privacy concerns, online decorum, and safety. Once your kids are back-to-school, they’ll likely learn about new games, sites and more from friends on the playground. While you want them to have fun with their peers, you also want them to be careful.
For privacy, make sure your kid’s privacy settings have been changed to protect their personal information from strangers. Talk about how they should only add people to their social network who they know and trust.
As for online decorum, you need to make sure that your child isn’t being bullied or being a bully online. Cyber bullying isn’t a problem that many parents had to deal with growing up, but it’s prevalent now. Talk to your family about being good people both off and online. Also, it’s important to talk to your kids about how online behaviours can effect their real lives and their futures.
Lastly, remind your kids not to offer strangers personal details about themselves, arrange to meet up, or anything that could land them in trouble. Social media sites can be fun places to connect and meet new people, but it’s important to have a level of scepticism. It’s a good idea to monitor what they’re doing online for their own safety.
Now that summer is winding down, it’s a good opportunity to have an open dialogue about proper computer and internet use. Just like the saying goes, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”
Talk to us at TwinBytes to learn more about securing your home computer!