In the age of the internet and online devices, there is a whole other world that parents need to be aware of so that they can ensure the wellbeing of their child and ensure that their first forays into the online world are positive, safe, and nourishing.
The fact is that the internet is an impossibly large place, and with links navigating away from the current webpage only a curious click away, an unattended child could end up on the far side of the internet in only a few minutes.
As with most things that can easily grab our children’s attention, the internet is great in moderation – especially that now, there are endless amounts of content online catering to children’s education, with unique and interesting content to pique their curiosity.
The key is ensuring that this is the part of the internet that they get to know, as social media is very easily accessible and, the vast majority of the time, inappropriate for younger children.
Read on to find out more about keeping your children safe online as they get to know the world of online devices.
Show them things they might like
A great way to introduce your child to the internet and online world is to guide them during their first sessions, showing them websites or content that you think they might like, based on what they enjoy watching on TV, or which subjects they seem to enjoy in pre-school.
By loading up the webpages for them, and not yet giving them any navigational control, you can ensure that they don’t accidentally end up somewhere they shouldn’t. Showing them wholesome or educational content and sites will allow them to build up an association between using the computer and positive things.
Despite the fact that you’re not letting them have any control yet, this will still give the child a good base to go from once they are old enough.
Limit their screen time
Another effective way of ensuring that your child stays safe online is by limiting their screen time. At a young age, despite all the great content that can be found online, it’s not healthy for a child to be spending excessive amounts of time on computers when they should be outside learning social skills and staying fit and healthy.
This applies to all online devices, so if your older child has just bought a tablet for college, ensure that it is out of reach.
Limiting their screen time encourages them to get value out of their computer sessions, and teaches them that moderation is important. It’s a really bad idea to let them get used to being allowed access, as this could lead to them feeling entitled to computer time and cause behavioral issues when they can’t have what they want.
Install filtering software
As a failsafe that is guaranteed to protect your child’s safety online even if they slip through your multiple safety measures, filtering software is the ideal choice for ensuring there is zero chance your child ends up on an inappropriate website.