Tech Tips to Keep Your Child Safe Online

Going online can open doors to fun and learning for your children. But in these days of cyberbullying, online predators and inappropriate material, it’s enough to make any parent think twice about letting their child go on the Internet. However, with a little bit of planning and knowing what tech tools are available to help, you can make sure that your child’s online experience is as safe and rewarding as possible.

An Essential Life Skill

Technology is a more pervasive presence in our lives than ever before. Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that by the time they’re two years old, most children are already using a mobile device on a daily basis. But there’s no reason to fear the technology itself.  As Kiddie Academy’s Vice President of Education Richard Peterson points out, the use of technology is one of the essential life skills we teach through our curriculum. But it’s just one of many life skills, along with character education and health and fitness, that children need to learn. Too much time online can quickly go from being a good thing to interfering with other things your child should be doing to grow into a smart, confident and healthy individual.

To make sure technology is in proper balance in your child’s life, you need to come up with a strategy that includes planning and technical tools. A great way to start is developing a plan for your children. It can include:

– Setting limits for online time.

– Restricting certain content and website access.

– Limiting email and messaging.

– Talking with your older children about not giving out information online.

There are lots of other resources available, too. PC Magazine has a list of the best parental-control software for 2018, and sites like Common Sense Media regularly review new apps and games designed for children.

Once you’ve got your plan and parental controls in place, don’t consider your job done. Make sure some of your child’s online time is spent with you. The best way to ensure your kids get the most out of going online is to turn it into a shared experience with them.

For more on this topic:

“Media Use in School-Age Children and Adolescents”, “Media and Young Minds”, “Children and Adolescents and Digital Media” – American Academy of Pediatrics

“Basic Internet Safety” – Netsmartz

“Parenting in a Digital Age: What are the benefits for my child of using digital technology?” – UK Safer Internet Centre

Thank you for reading along, as we work together in raising the next generation of amazing kids!

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