Hey moms, do you know what your child is up to online, or your children? In this day and age, there’s no more important time than now to be involved in what your child is doing on the internet, whether it be their phones, computers, tablets, laptops, etc.
I’m sure you’ve recently heard of the Momo Challenge, which is an internet hoax challenge that’s been making rounds in the media lately. Reportedly, the challenge tried to entice children online to do dangerous and self-harming tasks.
This is hardly the first report of something like this cropping up on the internet, and now is a great time to talk about how to keep kids safe online. It’s important. My Mom (everyone calls her Chickie) is a Child Psychologist who helped provide these insights and outline some best practices.
My Mom says this all the time; you really can’t be too involved when it comes down to what your child does online. Growing up, our laptops and computers could only be used in the kitchen or living room; where she had full view of what we were doing online and what was on our screen at any given time.
Of course, if your child has a phone with internet access, this complicates things further as you can’t just sit there and monitor what they do past a certain age. When it gets to that point, pretty much all major cellphone providers offer Parental Controls so that you can restrict content that is inappropriate and monitor who they are calling and texting or block that if need be.
Make Them Clock In & Out
My Mom always made us clock in and out of our internet usage like little employees. She gave us 30 minutes a day on the computer, and that included playing any online games. She would set a timer for 30 minutes when we sat down in front of the screen, and when the timer went off that was it. Our internet usage was done for the day and we had to go play with our toys or our friends or our animals instead.
Have Access To All Their Passwords
You as a mom should have access to all of your child’s passwords for any and all social media accounts that they use.
It’s important to be able to check in on what they are doing and who they are talking to so you can help stop something before it spirals out of control.
You want to hear a disgusting fact? 1 out of every 5 children receive inappropriate solicitations while online. Child predators and cyber bullies are out there, and that is why you need to make sure you know what your child is doing and who they are talking to, especially on social media.
Know Who Their Friends Are
Another thing that is important to monitor is who your child is friends with in real life. If you see anyone they are friends with on social media that they do not know in the real world, make sure they remove them.
33% of teenagers are friends with strangers or people they have never even met on Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center.
Talk About Privacy
The Pew Research Center also reports that 75% of children who use the internet are very willing to share personal information about themselves and their family while online. That’s downright disturbing.
Even if your child is too young to really understand the implications of giving someone online their personal information, you should still start talking to them about privacy.
Make sure your child knows that he or she should never give out their name, address, e-mail, and phone number. Make sure they also know not to give out any photos or passwords.
Make sure they know that they should not open any emails from a sender they do not know. Make sure that they know not to reply to any disturbing emails, texts, or social media messages. Make sure they know not to meet up in the real world with anyone they possibly meet online.
Talking to your child about these things goes a lot way in keeping them safe. Always tell your child to report anything weird or disturbing to you as soon as they see it.
Set Up Your Browser
Every popular browser from Safari to Chrome has the ability to set up a safe search feature that filters out language, adult content, and violence on different scales.
It’s certainly not hard to do, but it’s a great thing to take the time to set up to help you make sure your child has a safe and age-appropriate online experience.
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
Today she operates her own luxury label Bre Avery, along with Chip Chick Media which reaches millions of women each month.
Bre is passionate about teaching women how to build a business and be an entrepreneur, in addition to keeping her readers informed of the latest technology trends and exciting products to improve their lifestyles.