One of the biggest reasons behind PC security product purchases is a worry for kid’s safety whilst browsing online, and it’s easy to see why. There are many dangers associated with children using the internet, mainly because of their naivety and lack of experience with the online world. It’s not an ideal solution to completely stop the child from using a computer to browse the internet, it can be a great tool for them to use. For example, they probably use a the internet to check out homework assignments or contact their peers, not to mention the wealth of knowledge available on the internet.
What dangers to children face online? It is commonplace to hear stories of children falling for predatory criminals pretending to be a child their age: you have probably heard them on the news many times. As well as the criminal dangers, parents are often concerned about their child viewing images and websites intended for adults, or even just using social media since they do not screen content for younger audiences.
How can you protect your child from being affected by these issues? Luckily, you have a lot of options. The first and most obvious option is to keep them from using a computer, but, as mentioned before, this isn’t a great idea as the world now revolves around computer usage, even to the point where it is part of a child’s compulsory school curriculum. Another option is to supervise your child whenever they are using a computer, which is a great idea for young children as their internet usage is likely to only ever be whilst you are around. Unfortunately, the case for older children isn’t so simple thanks to smartphones. According to a survey done in 2013, 56% of children aged 10 to 13 have a smartphone (the number is likely to have increased significantly in the years since). In this case, you need to take more of a ‘blanket’ approach, a good example of which is making use of parental controls provisioned by internet providers. By using these tools, you can allow access to certain sites only whilst on wi-fi. Parental controls often come with their own whitelist of websites which are safe for children, the easiest option is to use this to restrict your child’s browsing access.
Wi-fi isn’t the only way you can connect to the internet, so you’ll need to consider safeguarding your children whilst using cellular internet, otherwise your child could simply turn off their wifi and view any site they like. Mobile providers also offer parental controls, but they are hardly ever as accurate as ISP parental controls. You will find that you can only block access to 18+ websites, which leaves the majority of website which aren’t safe for under 13s accessible. There’s not much you can do to stop your child accessing these sites whilst out of your supervision, so the best way to protect them from online dangers is through good-old education