1. Teach Your Kids How To Use The Internet Safely
When you are looking to help protect your kids from inappropriate content, the first thing you need to do is teach them how to navigate the internet. The internet, much like the real world, is full of both good and bad places. Because of this, you need to know where to go and what to avoid. Teach them they should only visit websites that are secure with (HTTPS) in front of the domain. Likewise, you want to teach them to install protective add-ons like AdBlock to avoid harmful popups. You also want to teach them how to safely search and turn on YouTube safe mode to add extra protection.
2. Inform Kids What They Should Look For
You want to ensure you are teaching your kids what to look for and what to avoid. Teach them that inappropriate content isn't something they will only be exposed to on various websites, but also potentially through chat apps, social media, and more. Teach them how dangerous it is to click on potentially harmful popup advertisements and to download things without knowing what it is you are downloading.
3. Install Firewalls, Content Blockers, and Ad Blockers
You will want to install as much protection as possible for your children's devices. Make use of any of the built-in safety apps that come with it. You will find various parental control apps will deliver a good level of protection for your kids. However, to add even more protection, you can install antivirus software that has built-in content filtering and protection. You can also install a firewall and RARBG or set rules that will protect children from seeing inappropriate content.
4. What You Need To Do If Your Child Has Been Exposed
If your child has been exposed to content that is deemed inappropriate, you'll want to figure out where it came from. Once you identify the source of the content, you should take proactive steps to block it. You can do it by blocking the website through your firewall or router's rules.
5. Don't Shame Your Child
The last thing you want to do is shame your child for seeing something they shouldn't have. You also don't want them to feel discouraged about sharing things with you. If they made a mistake, allow them to learn from it and make them feel good about being open and honest with you.
6. Protect Them Against Online Predators
While grooming is something that you may want to avoid talking about with your kids, it's something they need to learn about at a young age. You want to encourage your children to speak out about things with you and to discuss what they are doing on the internet regularly.
7. Teach Online Behaviors
You want to ensure your children have a good idea of what is acceptable and what's not acceptable online. Teach them about interactions they should be having and one's they shouldn't. Give them potential red flags they can look out for so they are best able to avoid them.
8. Monitor Their Devices and Activity
While you should be giving your children some freedom to explore, you don't want to do so without monitoring them. You need to monitor things your children are doing on the internet because they can get themselves in trouble. Keep the computer in the living room where it can be physically monitored. If not, you can monitor them through parental controls, only giving them access to shared email accounts, and by installing monitoring software and other things on their devices.
9. Control Access To Apps and Cameras
You want to ensure that your child knows they are not to upload photos or videos without permission. You also want to keep them from freely using cameras or the build-in webcam. You can monitor the camera rolls to ensure they aren't doing anything inappropriate.
10. Warm Them
You want to ensure you are warning your kids about what they are going to face online. Warn them about the dangers of online chat rooms, servers, and more. Teach them to follow the rules and restrictions of the platforms they are using and to avoid engaging with strangers that ask for information about themselves.
11. Be Vigilant
You need to monitor your children no matter if what they are doing seems harmless. Predators use things like game rooms and chat rooms to prey on unsuspecting kids. Remain vigilant of all of their activities and interactions online.
12. What To Do If Your Child Is a Victim
If you think that your child is being groomed by someone online, it can be a very bad experience for both of you. You need to take quick action to keep it from getting worse. Here are some steps to follow if you think your children have been a victim:
- Tell your child they are not to blame
- Save all communication they have had with the predator
- Cut off all communication from that point forward
- Change any passwords and credentials for all of your child's accounts
- Report the incident to local law enforcement agencies and website administrators