Many parents find it difficult to break into the online world out of fear of the advanced nature of the computers, tablets and mobile phones their kids are using. But in reality, they are not that advanced and once you get to know the devices more closely, you will be able to minimise the events of pulling your hair out. During each Parent Presentation, I offer a wide range of Tips & Tricks that will help you keep your kids safe. These are simple steps to help monitor your kids online world, without invading their privacy too much. Remember though, communication is the key!
Discussing issues and concerns with your child directly is a great way to move forward and setting clear guidelines is a must. I hate using the word "control", but it is important that our kids are not thrown head first into the online world without any concern at all. They must understand that as a parent, you are concerned for their online safety just as much as you are for their physical safety and that you may choose to put things in place to help you achieve that.
Here are my Top Ten Tips.
- 1. Google Safe Search - A simple and safe way to minimise where your child goes and what they may see. Watch my video Safe Search to see how to Safe Search.
- 2. Internet History - Encompasses a number of terms that can identify where a user has been online. These include - Cookies, Temporary Files and Browser History. A users history can be easily deleted after each visit either via the browser or using dedicated software. It is a good way to see where your children have been, but it can be manipulated. The vast majority of Tweens already know how to delete history and do it quite regularly. So it is simply a case of making yourself aware of where this information is located and try to check it as often as possible. Sadly, at this stage there is no simple method to protect a device from having Internet History deleted. Watch my video Internet History Check to see how to view history.
- 3. IOS Restrictions - These are a very useful way of minimising the web capabilities of your Apple device. A user can access the restrictions settings to block App's, add Age Restrictions to Safari searching and even to turn off the camera. The best thing is these restrictions can be protected using a PIN, so the user can not change or alter them.
- 4. Get to Know your Modem or Router - This would probably be the best way to have peace of mind when you have teens in the house and a number of devices that access the internet within the home. Many high end routers and modems (how you access the internet) have Parental Controls that will allow you to set restrictions and limitations on each device that uses that access point to get to the internet. As an example, if your child has an Ipad in their bedroom, you can turn off the internet to that device at a time you specify within the parental controls, whilst still having full access to each other device in the home. Sadly, many cheaper or the free modems offered by service providers do not have such capabilities. Therefore it would be a great idea to visit your local computer retailer to get a decent Router or Modem that offers these settings.
- 5. Use Software to Help - Ccleaner - Monitor and view complete computer/device history on PC and Mac. System Surveillance Pro - Timing and Use restriction on devices and the internet. Recuva - Recover any and all deleted information from a PC or Device. Parent Power - Perth based company. A device to help restrict internet use and access. Curbi - Perth based company. An App to help restrict internet use and access.
- 6. Reverse Image Search - A good way of seeing if your child's images are being shared online or to identify how strong their Online Footprint may be, is to use Google's Reverse Image Search. This is also a good way of identifying any images being used on suspicious social networking accounts. Watch my video Reverse Image to see how to use Reverse Image Search.
- 7. Jasmine Youtube Client - This is a great little App that is for IOS devices and is basically a Youtube viewer. Jasmine is free via Itunes, however if you want Parental Controls, then you need to upgrade to the Pro version which is $1.99. The controls give you the ability to adjust the age restrictions on videos through Youtube and a number of other little tweaks to help keep your kids safe online.
- 8. KOL Search - KOL is basically Google Safe Search done for you. It filters all searching for you. A good little site for your kids to use.
- 9. Safe Search Kids - SSK is also Google Safe Search done for you. It is run by Google and filters all searching for you. A good little site for your kids to use.
- 10. Youtube for Kids - Finally Youtube has brought out a kid safe version of this very popular site. The best thing about it, is it is run by Parents and has very good filtration and moderation. A great way for your kids to use and understand this network without the fear of being exposed to adult or explicit material.