Even very young children have access to the internet today. If you have given your child an internet-accessible device, then you need to limit what they are able to access online.
Unfortunately, much of the internet is geared towards adult content. If your child is able to browse the internet with no restrictions, then they will inevitably end up seeing content that’s only appropriate for adults.
This post will explore this topic in more detail, explaining the top parental controls offered by your internet provider (and what you can do to protect your child online).
The main protective measure introduced by internet providers to keep people’s children safe online is an automatic age restriction, meaning if a site is flagged up as containing adult content, it will be automatically blocked. No matter who your wireless internet provider is, there is a very strong chance that this will automatically be activated when you first take out your plan. You usually have to get in touch with them and ask them to remove these blocks. If you plan on accessing adult content, then remove age restrictions, but ask your internet provider to put a password lock on. Then, only people with the password will be able to bypass your internet’s age restrictions. Make sure that the password you set isn’t easy for your child to guess. If they do guess it, they could access unsuitable content.
Internet searches are sometimes blocked by wireless internet providers, too. However, you usually have to set internet search restrictions yourself. Internet searches can be very dangerous, especially image searches. Image searches, if unrestricted, will allow your child to see thumbnails that contain adult content. If you have age restrictions activated they won’t be able to actually visit the sites behind these thumbnails but to be honest, the thumbnails are enough to scar your child. Internet search restrictions can be activated manually by navigating to your search engine account settings. Then, click activate the safe search. With safe search activated, your child won’t be able to view inappropriate images.
Make sure to regularly check your child’s site history out. Unfortunately, children are very intelligent. If you set up an internet block, they will probably find a way around it. If you do not monitor your child’s internet activity, then you won’t be able to make sure that they are viewing age-appropriate content. Every so often, ask to see your child’s laptop or mobile device. Then, check their internet history. Be sure to type in specific keywords, so you can get a clear idea of what your child has been doing and find out whether they’ve been viewing unsuitable content.
Something else that’s worth considering is your child’s device’s security. It is especially important t consider this if you let your child use your device. Unfortunately, it is very common or children to unintentionally download viruses. If your child downloads a virus to your device, then they could end up damaging it or exposing your personal information to a hacker or cybercriminal. Anti-viral software is widely available and very affordable. Make sure to run regular scans on your device, so you can make sure that your child hasn’t unintentionally downloaded any viruses.
If there are specific sites you have caught your child using before that aren’t appropriate, then make sure that you block them. Most internet providers will allow you to block specific sites from your network. Blocking specific sites will help you to keep your child safe online, and stop them from visiting sites frequented by young people and adults, i.e., popular pornography sites. Blocking the most popular of these sites will limit your child’s exposure to them because they are likely to only know about the most popular ones from friends at school, and from internet searches.
If your child has a VPN on their device, then they will be able to avoid all of the blocks and protective measures that they have been in place. The same is also true if they are able to visit proxy sites. Make sure that your child’s device has no VPNs downloaded on it, and add proxy sites to your internet’s block list. Proxies function just like VPNs, except they are websites and are not downloadable. If your child accesses a proxy, then they will be able to do absolutely anything they want on the internet, completely undetected.
Your child’s internet access needs to be controlled and limited. Do not give them unfettered access to the internet, because they could end up visiting a site that’s dangerous or that exposes them to things not appropriate for them. Consider all of the points made in this post, so you can keep your child safe.