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Keeping kids safe online

  • 26 June 2019
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Keeping kids safe online
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Kids and the internet stick together like glue, but there are a few things you can do to make sure they’re safe online…

Whether it’s socialising with friends or getting help with homework, the web has all sorts of useful information and can provide kids with really useful skills as they make their way through life. But, alongside the good websites, there are just as many that you wouldn’t want them going anywhere near so here are a few of the best ways to keep them safe.

Download a parental control app

When you’re working with one computer for the whole family it can be easy to keep everyone safe and monitor what’s going on, but personal devices like phones and tablets are a whole different story.
By downloading some parental control software (if the device doesn’t have it built-in) you can monitor your kids screen time and even password protect some areas.

Qustodio

Qustodio is a great little app that can filter web content, monitor calls and even has a child location feature. There’s also a panic button included, so if your child has an emergency they can contact you quickly with just one click.
Free for Android and iOS.

Restrict purchases

If you’ve been the victim of losing your hard-earned money to a computer game, you’ll know just how frustrating it can be, especially if you can’t convince the game company to refund it.
Luckily, it’s easy to put a stop to those sneaky in-app purchases.
On Android you can put password protection right there on the Google Play Store app. Just open the app, go to Menu > Settings > Require authentication for purchases > For all purchases. Now they won’t be able to buy anything without your permission.
To do the same on an Apple device, go into Settings > General > Restrictions. Tap Enable Restrictions > enter a PIN, then go to In-App Purchases in the list of options under the ‘Restrictions’ tab. Job done.

Make YouTube and Facebook safer

Social media is everywhere these days, and kids are going to use it. So, here’s some things you can do to keep them safe while they catch up with their mates and share stories.

Facebook

The last thing you want is your child chatting to strangers or coming across inappropriate videos while on Facebook. While there aren’t any filters to restrict explicit content, you can block any individuals, groups, pages and apps through the settings.
Remember, there is a minimum age requirement of 13 to have a Facebook account, so anything on there is intended for audience of that age and upwards. If your child is a bit too young, there are plenty of other ways for them to keep up with their friends antics.

YouTube

Rather than let your child have access to the full YouTube site, Google offers an easy to use app for kids, whether they’re on an Android or iPad. It’s free to use, and it has algorithms built-in to make sure unsuitable content isn’t shown in search results.

Stay in the loop with Google Family Link

By giving your kid their own Google account, they get to feel like they’ve got some freedom and you get to keep an eye on exactly what they’re doing.
You can manage what apps they’re using and set a bedtime for phones, so they’re not overdoing it on screen time.

Set some rules

It’s one thing to put all these tech restrictions in place, but it’s hugely important to make sure children are educated about the risks associated with going online. Kids are digital wizards these days, so the best way to know what they’re up to is to encourage them to share it with you.
Let them know what’s acceptable online, and that they can come to you for help if they see or receive anything inappropriate. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up being the next champion of Fortnite!
Is there anything we’ve missed? What precautions have you got in place to keep your kids safe online? Let us know in the comments.

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