Being a parent these days comes with its fair share of challenges, especially when it comes to keeping your kids safe in the online world. It’s no walk in the park – kids have their own gadgets, and they’re practically glued to the internet. Trying to keep a constant eye on what they’re up to seems like an impossible mission. However, even if you can’t be their online watchdog 24/7, there are still steps you can take to make sure your children stay safe. Check out these 9 tips to get started.

1. Make YouTube Safer for Your Kids

Kids and teenagers spend a considerable amount of time on YouTube, watching a variety of videos. Although there’s a wealth of educational and entertaining content, not everything is suitable for a family audience. To enhance the safety of their YouTube experience, go to the account settings and activate “Restricted Mode.” This feature filters out videos flagged as inappropriate, ensuring a more kid-friendly viewing environment.

2. Safeguarding Social Media Spaces

Nurturing online safety for your kids can be quite a task, especially with the intricacies of social media. When your youngsters are diving into the world of social platforms, lend them a hand in setting up their privacy controls. This ensures that only friends and family get a glimpse of their posts. For those who already have social media accounts, take some time to educate them on the significance of online privacy. Assist them in reviewing and adjusting their privacy settings for a safer digital experience.

3. Safeguarding Devices with Anti-Virus Measures

Your kids, much like yourself, can be prone to clicking on less-than-friendly links. Sometimes, they’re even more susceptible because they’re still learning to distinguish between what’s safe and what’s not. As a parent, you can play a pivotal role in fortifying your children’s online security by investing in and installing anti-virus software on your family’s computers and their mobile devices. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, consider using a free anti-virus program like Avast.

4. Individual User Accounts for Online Safety

Shielding personal information and ensuring online safety for your kids becomes easier when you create separate user accounts. If your children frequently use your computer or tablet, setting up distinct user accounts for each of them is a smart move. This allows them to personalize their desktops and manage their files, while you maintain control over privacy settings. On tablets, you can regulate which apps your kids can access from their accounts, keeping your personal or work files secure and restricting their ability to alter your apps and programs without administrative permissions.

5. Fortifying Gaming Systems

When considering parental controls and online safety, don’t overlook gaming consoles as potential entry points to the internet for your children. Ensure that your gaming devices have child safety options that limit web browsing and purchasing capabilities.

6. Embrace Child-Friendly Browsers and Search Engines

Creating a secure online environment for your children involves opting for child-friendly browsers such as Zoodles. These browsers offer a kid-friendly atmosphere with features like time limits and ad blocking. If you’re using Chrome, setting up a “supervised profile” can restrict specific websites and search results, enabling you to monitor your children’s online activity.

7. App Lockdown for Privacy

Securing your apps is crucial, whether it’s to protect your personal data or prevent little ones from accessing important applications. On Android devices, use “screen pinning” in your security settings, requiring a PIN for your child to exit an app. For Apple devices, utilize “guided access” in the general settings under accessibility. Triple-click the home button to configure settings before handing the phone over to your child.

8. Time Management Online

If you want to regulate your children’s online time, apps like ScreenTime (available on Apple, Android, and Amazon devices) are invaluable. Set limits on internet access, block specific apps or device usage during designated hours, and remotely monitor your child’s device and web history.

9. Investigate Chat Rooms Before Approval

While some chat rooms can be safe and educational, it’s essential to vet them before allowing your children to participate. Explore child-friendly platforms and educate your kids on what’s acceptable to share online. This extra precaution enhances your child’s security on platforms you’ve already deemed safe.