HOW TO PRO­TECT YOUR KIDS ONLINE

Chances are your chil­dren know more about the in­ter­net than you do, but it’s your re­spon­si­bil­ity to keep them safe online. Don’t worry, with a lit­tle bit of know-how, it’s pos­si­ble to take con­trol, while still al­low­ing them enough free­dom to en­joy it safe

Ideal Home (UK) - - Simple Solutions -

Q How can I pre­vent my kids ac­cess­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­tent online?

All re­spectable in­ter­net ser­vice providers (ISP) of­fer free parental con­trols. These cover all com­put­ers, lap­tops, games con­soles, smart­phones and tablets, and give you the op­por­tu­nity to fil­ter and block ac­cess to sites with un­suit­able con­tent, or even set timers to limit surf­ing. Mo­bile providers also of­fer ex­ten­sive fil­ters, so your kids are pro­tected away from home, too.

Q How can I turn on parental con­trols?

Se­cu­rity con­trols can be found un­der ‘Set­tings’ on your ISP’S web­site home­page (sky.com, bt.com, etc), as well as on your web browser (Google, Sa­fari, Bing, etc). Log in to your ac­count and fol­low the in­struc­tions. If you use Ap­ple de­vices, you’ll find them un­der ‘Sys­tem Pref­er­ences’ and for Mi­crosoft, you can set up a Fam­ily ac­count via ac­count. mi­crosoft.com/fam­ily.

Q What about so­cial me­dia?

Pop­u­lar sites like Face­book, Snapchat and Youtube re­quire you to be at least 13 to join, yet there’s no real way of policing this. When you are happy for your kids to have an ac­count, you can limit their ex­po­sure to un­suit­able con­tent and at­ten­tion. On Snapchat, find the se­cu­rity set­tings via the ‘Ghost’ logo and if you don’t want your chil­dren re­ceiv­ing pic­tures and videos from strangers, make sure they can only ac­cept me­dia from their ap­proved ‘Friends’. Look for the ‘?’ sym­bol on Face­book and you’ll find all the se­cu­rity set­tings. We rec­om­mend only al­low­ing ‘Friends’ to view their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, and mak­ing sure that pho­tos or videos up­loaded are view­able by ‘Friends’ only. To keep pics from be­ing pub­lic on In­sta­gram, set the ac­count to ‘Pri­vate’ and switch off ‘geo-tag­ging’ lo­ca­tion ser­vices, so their where­abouts can’t be tracked. On Youtube we rec­om­mend Youtube Kids for pre-teens, which has been de­signed as a safe space for younger kids, while for older chil­dren, turn on ‘Re­stricted Mode’, which blocks ma­ture con­tent. It needs to be ac­ti­vated on any de­vice (tablet, phone, lap­top) your child uses.

Q How can I limit the amount of time they spend online?

We­bcur­few and Net­nanny are sub­scrip­tion soft­ware pack­ages that let you set time and du­ra­tion lim­its on your child’s de­vice. They also fil­ter web­site ac­cess and mon­i­tor the sites they visit.

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