Danger Lurks Online: How To Keep Your Kids Safe
Being a mother is hard. Although motherhood looks different for everyone, there is one thing that is universally true: We all wonder whether we are doing enough. It can be challenging to deal with the guilt of not being able to be there for our children, keeping them safe, all the time. This is especially true in the internet age, when it can seem like an insurmountable goal to keep our children insulated from the hazards that lurk around every digital corner. Fortunately, there is some good news in all of this. There are things we can do to ensure our kids are as safe as possible when they are online. Here, we’ll discuss some of the things parents can do to keep their kids safe online.
One of the most powerful tools in a parent’s arsenal when it comes to keeping kids safe online is to teach them to keep themselves safe by recognizing potential dangers. Teach them not to share personal information with people online, and about the importance of remember that things that are posted online are forever. As a general guideline, teach them to not post anything online they wouldn’t be OK with you seeing.
There’s nothing wrong with allowing your children to have free time online – but it’s a good idea to limit their usage. Kids today use social media and other online portals to communicate with their friends and to unwind after a day at school. However, limit their usage to a pre-determined amount of time and let them know that once that time is up, the rest of the evening is for family time. Kids are much less likely to get into dangerous waters online if their time is limited.
Keep the computer in a public space
As a safety measure, experts recommend that parents keep the computer their children use within a public space in the home, not in the child’s bedroom. Your child will be much less likely to get into trouble online if they know their activities are within plain site of their parents.
Be an online sleuth
This is key. Regularly check your child’s online browser history to find out where they’ve been online, and insist that your child allow you to “friend” them on Facebook, Instagram, and other similar sites so you can monitor what they post. As an added layer of protection, it’s a good idea to invest in a third-party service such as mSpy parental control. These services allow parents to protect their children from online dangers, even when they can’t physically be around when they are online, in ways such as:
Tracking apps such as FB messenger and Snapchat
Tracking their location through the GPS on their phone
Reading their text messages, keeping track of their calls, etc.
These services are invaluable to working mothers who may worry that their kids are potentially falling victim to dangers online, as they can allow parents to track their children’s online behaviour from their phones, no matter where they are. Keeping our kids safe online isn’t easy, but it’s imperative. Kids may unwittingly make themselves vulnerable to online dangers, and it’s our job as parents to do everything we can to keep them safe from those dangers. Today’s kids live a lot of their lives online – that’s a reality – and we need to educate ourselves as mothers about the dangers that exist and what we can do to mitigate their effect on our children.
Written by Natalie Bracco for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.