A few decades ago, before smartphones were introduced, the only way to access the internet was through computers. But the world has witnessed a drastic change ever since smartphones came into being.
Obviously, this small handheld device has made our lives a lot easier. But it has also ushered in a lot of disadvantages. And one of the greatest threats we are facing today is the risk of kids being exposed to adult or mature content on the internet. In a world where even the adults are struggling to limit the time spent online, it is almost impossible to prevent the children from being exposed to mature content online.
In the early days of the internet, users had to pay a lot of money for the connection. But now anyone can connect to free Wi-Fi at a school campus, at the shopping malls, and even at home. You may be able to somehow keep a check on your kids at home. But as soon as they step out of the house, they’re free to do whatever they want.
And just so you know, the internet is full of inappropriate/harmful content. As responsible parents, it is our job to ensure that our kids don’t get access to harmful content online. It is not entirely possible to completely prevent them from visiting dangerous websites but there are several things you can do to minimise the risk.
What can you do to keep your child away from adult content online?
Switch to YouTube kids.
Thanks to the internet, many parents these days bring office work to their home, and they don’t want to be disturbed while they’re working. So, they’ll simply allow their kids to watch videos on YouTube. It sounds like a good idea to keep the kids engaged, right?
Of course, YouTube does not allow pornographic videos. But there are millions of inappropriate videos for the kids. YouTube Kids blocks the majority of these inappropriate videos, allowing you partial peace of mind. You can read more about how to enable Youtube Kids here.
Enable safe search on Google/other search engines.
Enabling the safe search on the browser will filter any adult images, articles, or videos. If you’re using Google, here is how you can do it.
- Open your browser and go to the search box.
- Enter your search (could be anything) and hit enter.
- You’ll see the settings icon on the top right corner. Click it, and you’ll find the safe search option.
- Turn it on, and that’s it.
Set up parental controls on all devices that have access to the internet.
As mentioned earlier, parental control may not be the ultimate solution. But it’s imperative that you do so. It will not only prevent the children from using the internet freely. But it will also protect your personal files.
Most operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, come with parental controls. The following tutorials will guide you through setting up parental controls, specific to your operating system.
- Windows 10 Parental Controls Tutorial
- Mac Parental Controls Tutorial
- iOS Parental Controls Tutorial
- Android Parental Controls Tutorial
Invest in a good internet filter/content-control software.
There are many great content-control software applications you can purchase these days. This will give you the power to block specific content or websites. So, you can choose the sites you want your kids to access or block the ones you don’t want them to visit. If you would like recommendations on which content-control software to use, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 39 65 65 and we’ll help you out.
Make use of the Google family link program.
Adding your kids to the Google Family Link Program will allow you to prevent your kids from downloading adult apps from the play store and block them from visiting websites that contain mature content. You will also get to see the amount of time your child spends on a particular app.
Set a time.
Allowing your kids to have unlimited access to internet is not a wise thing, but it’s also not a good idea to completely prevent them from using it. The best thing you can do is to limit the time they spend before the screen.
If possible, restrict your children from having a mobile phone or a computer in their room.
Keeping the computer in a common area will give them less privacy when it comes to internet browsing. And allowing them to use cell phones or computers in their room is a sure way to keep them from browsing adult sites.
Encouraging the children to adopt healthy practices is what most parents would do, but only a few of them lead by example. For instance, you cannot force your children to develop a habit of reading books when you’re always playing with your mobile phone. Children have a tendency to follow each and everything that their parents do.
So, instead of letting them play with electronic gadgets all the time, partake in some activities that do not involve the internet. This will leave a lasting impression on them.
Let them know Of the dangers involved.
Whether kids or adults, human beings are always eager to try the things that are forbidden. If you really want your child to be safe, be open with them. Explain to them why they should avoid mature content, let them understand the dangers involved. If you’re able to do this in a proper way, they will at least try to avoid it even when you’re not around.
According to a survey, the fastest-growing crime is internet crime in the US, and surprisingly, the majority of the victims are children. It was also reported that most parents do not pay attention to their kids when it comes to internet use. That means they have no idea about what websites their kid’s visit, or what the children do on the internet.