The internet is a playground for a variety of information. Where kids are concerned, the internet can offer a wide range of educational and informative websites and tools. However, the internet can also expose children to websites that are inappropriate as well as dangerous. As the internet grows, so do the dangers that are present and accessible. For this reason there are security measures you can put in place to keep your kids safe online.
In many homes, the internet is run through a router in order to share the connection with multiple computers. This can be either a wireless or wired router that acts as a gateway for your computer to connect to the internet. If your internet runs through a router, you can filter the content that comes through and block certain websites before it even reaches the computer.
Depending on the manufacturer of your router, setting up the filtering will differ. In most cases the instructions will be included in the manual. If you require more explanation on how to setup filtering, contact your router manufacturer and they will be able to assist. You will need to be sure to setup your router with a password that your kids won’t know so they can’t change the settings back later on.
Another problem parents are seeing is the ease of resetting the router back to manufacturer’s settings. This is done by resetting the router with the reset button located on the router itself. If you are planning to implement content filtering through your router, you will want to be sure it is tucked away from your children and inaccessible.
When it comes to child safety on the internet, there have been many companies that have developed software to protect them and give parents the options needed to choose what they want their children to have access to. OpenDNS is one of those software solutions. The program not only stops the content on your computer, but also on any device that connects to your home network. This can include smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It tweaks your router for you by connecting it to the OpenDNS network instead of your internet service provider. From there, OpenDNS filters the content that goes to your devices.
Netnanny is probably the most well-known software safety suites for children. It monitors what is being accessed on the internet and stops anything you don’t want to come through. This is also effective in monitoring social media sites that your kids are using. They have been protecting children for over 8 years and are on the front lines of safe content.
Even with the most sophisticated software available, the most effective monitoring begins at home. By talking with your kids about the dangers online and content that is unacceptable for them, you can create open communication that may work better than any software.
Also limiting the computer time to only when you are available to monitor them will help. Studies show that many children are exposed to unsafe content and even online predators later in the evening rather than the daytime hours. By keeping their sessions short and between daytime hours can achieve a lot in keeping them safe.
The internet is a great way for children to learn about almost every subject under the sun. However, many subjects don’t need to be learned at such a young age. By monitoring their computer time and utilizing the different safety software available, you can keep your children safe while surfing the internet.
John Deschamp is a parent and freelance blogger for highspeedinternet.net, a site he often visits to learn more about how broadband internet works.