KEEPING YOUR KIDS SAFE ONLINE
February plays host to Safer Inernet Day, a global event which aims to make the internet a safer and better place for all – especially children and young people.
The online world is a fantastic place, bursting full of information, fun and communication but it also has a more sinister side and can be a scary place, especially if you have little ones.
As more and more devices are released onto the market, access to the web is no longer restricted to a PC. Games consoles, tablets, mobile devices and even Smart TVs now allow you to gain access to the online world, but with so many ways to get online, how are you meant to protect your children from seeing things you don’t want them too or chatting to people they don’t know?
Most computers, smartphones and tablets now come with Parental Controls built in which allow you to configure individual settings to help manage what your children can access, see or do when online.
These are often dependent on the particular device you have. There are some great guides which you can access via the link below for detailed instructions on how to set these for your particular device.
Apps are a great place for your children to play, learn and explore and can make using the internet a more accessible and enjoyable experience.
With thousands of Apps available for download it’s important to make sure your children only use apps that are appropriate to them and their age.
Most Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) now include filters which you can manage to help you control what your family can see online.
Exactly what control you have will depend on your ISP but for a guide and step-by-step instructions on how to set controls on all major broadband providers and mobile networks in the UK take a look at the link below.
Remember that these settings will only work when you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi and won’t be active if your device is connected to 3G, 4G or 5G.
When out and about, keep an eye out for Family Friendly Wi-Fi. It has more filters configured than a standard Wi-Fi connection, helping you keep your kids safe when out of the house.
Most games consoles also have access to the internet which allow you to go online, chat with other players as well as make in-app purchases.
Again, many allow you to set up individual profiles with specific settings for members of your family and on some devices you can deactivate the internet or chat function all together.
If your kids love gaming, there are some great resources in the link below on how to help keep them safe.
Search Engines are the gateway to the web but they do come with their own risks and sometimes the most innocent search can end in undesired results.
There are a number of kid-friendly Search Engines available which have advanced filters applied to stop them seeing things they shouldn’t.
Below is a couple of the most popular kid friendly search engines.
Kiddle is created by Google and is described as ‘A safe and visual search engine for kids’.
What’s great about Kiddle is that it is a visual search engine so kids can easily navigate the search results and its safe search filter ensures that inappropriate content is filtered out.
KidsSearch.com again uses Google’s Safe Search technology and advanced filtering tools to make the results suitable for children.
There is loads of information and advice out there to help you protect your kids when they are online.
Take a look at the below websites for additional help and advice.