Monitoring Internet Safety for Children

The internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, and it has opened up a world of possibilities for children. They can use it for educational purposes, to connect with friends and family, and to explore their interests. However, the internet also poses certain risks to children, such as exposure to inappropriate content and online predators. As a parent, it is essential to monitor your child’s internet activity to ensure they are using it safely and responsibly. 

One effective way to monitor your child’s internet activity is by using parental control software. These programs allow parents to set up filters to block inappropriate content, limit access to certain websites or apps, and monitor their child’s online activity. Some parental control software can even send parents alerts when their child attempts to access blocked content or engages in potentially risky
behaviour online. Examples of popular parental control software include Net Nanny, Qustodio, and Norton Family.

CleanBrowsing is another popular option for families looking to keep their children safe online. It is a free DNS-based content filtering service that allows parents to block access to adult content and other potentially harmful websites. CleanBrowsing is easy to set up and can be used on any device connected to your home network. It is also customizable, allowing parents to block specific categories of content or individual websites. CleanBrowsing can be used in conjunction with other parental control software for an extra layer of protection.

Another important aspect of monitoring your child’s internet activity is being aware of the social media platforms they use. Parents should make sure their child’s profiles are set to private and that they are only connected with people they know in real life. It is also a good idea to review your child’s social media activity regularly to ensure they are not engaging in any risky or inappropriate behaviour. 

In addition to social media, parents should also be aware of their child’s online gaming activity. Online gaming can be a fun and social way for children to interact with others, but it also has its risks. Some online games allow for open chat rooms, which can expose children to inappropriate language and behaviour. Parents should be aware of the games their children are playing and monitor their online gaming activity to ensure they are playing in a safe and appropriate manner. Some parental control software, such as Net Nanny and Qustodio, offer specific features for monitoring online gaming activity. Additionally, platforms like Xbox and PlayStation have built-in parental controls that can be used to restrict access to certain games and limit online communication with other players. 

It is also important for parents to talk to their children about internet safety and the potential risks associated with using the internet. Parents should discuss the importance of keeping personal information private, not sharing passwords with others, and reporting any suspicious activity online. By having an open and honest conversation with their children, parents can help them develop the skills and knowledge necessary to stay safe online. 

Homeschooling parents have the benefit over children going to physical school where they can better monitor the online activities of their children. Therefore, it is important that homeschooling parents have a better understanding of the tools and strategies to make online monitoring effective. While parental control software and content filtering services like CleanBrowsing are effective tools, they are not fool proof. Children can find ways around them or may use a device that does not have them installed. It is important for parents to supplement these tools with regular communication with their children about internet safety and healthy online behaviour. 

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