According to a recent survey, 95 percent of teens today use the internet, and 70 percent of children from the ages of 7 to 18 admit to having accidentally seen pornography while searching the internet for homework. These startling statistics become terrifying for parents when added to the fact that predators today use the internet to lure children and teens to websites, to social network sites, and sometimes to meet outside of the home.
Protecting your children from internet predators can be a difficult task today, because so many children have access to the web on multiple devices. From cell phones and tablets to home computers, ensuring the safety of your children from those who would mislead them can be a daunting task. Here are some 5 tips that have been proven to help parents provide more online safety for their children.
1. Public Area Access
One proactive step that parents can take in regards to internet safety is to set ground rules for cell phones and web enabled devices. By making a rule that devices may only be used in the public areas of the home, parents may be one step closer to preventing contact with online predators. This type of safety measure could cut down dramatically on the 69 percent of teens who claim to be contacted by strangers online regularly.
2. Digital Surveillance
There is a fine line today between safety and spying. A hidden nanny cam, when set to view a home computer screen can be deemed as a child safety measure. For those who are uncomfortable with the knowledge of a hidden camera, placing one of these and telling family members where it is and what it is doing can also be beneficial. A pre teen may think twice about chatting online with an unknown individual if they know their actions can be seen first by a camera and then by a parent or guardian.
3. Software and Apps
The internet security industry is filled with software programs and apps that are built to increase online security. These may feature individual user account settings, website blocks, and even the ability to deny online access at certain times of the day or night. Cell phone apps are now available that can do the same type of thing, providing much peace of mind for concerned parents. Many cell phone companies today offer to provide parents email copies of their children’s texts and mobile cell monitoring software can be purchased so that a concerned parent or guardian can monitor cell and online activity in real time.
4. Keystroke Logger
Keystroke loggers are small recording devices that generally plug into the USB outlet of a computer. With this device, it is possible to capture and record everything that has been typed and viewed on a computer. While checking all family keystrokes every day may be an exhausting process, spot checks with this type of device may offer important information to a parent who is suspicious about a child’s online activities.
5. Router Filtering
Many internet routers today are sold with the capability to filter on demand. By using the embedded program, a parent can select the types of web pages that may or may not be viewed through the router. There are also some programs that can be used if you already own a router to assist with content filtering.
Most children today are familiar with the internet. Some may be even more familiar than their parents. With the risk on online predators, it is imperative that parents and guardians take proactive steps to insure the online safety of their children.