The world online is not safe not even the adults are safe from it. Cyberbullying, the leak of private information, identity theft, unauthorized access to personal photos, contact info, bank details etc. How can we be certain that our kids are safe online?
Kids can’t take precautionary measures on their own unless a parent or a guardian intervenes and monitor their activity telling them the do’s and don’ts of being online. Undertake following steps to combat and/or spy their moves online.
1. Put the Computer in a Common Area
When you use a personal computer say in a lounge you will be sure to set up parental controls for surfing the internet for your kids. The location greatly helps since the kids know that PC is in a “public” area and any move to detract from what has been assigned to them online will result in getting caught and they will be mindful of the fact.
2. Browse Browser’s History
Okay, you have made sure that your kids don’t wander here and there while surfing online. Still, make sure to check browser’s history when they are done using the computer. Any attempts to access certain websites/pages/searches will be listed in the history section of your browser. Will help you a great deal in keeping them under check as to what their online intents are.
3. Become a Pro Like 007 Spy
Gadgets and apps are available at your disposal for spying and not literally spying by standing over your kids’ shoulders. The technique is a combination of both hardware and software operated remotely from smartphones or laptops, spy camera for instance.
4. ‘Fake It Till You Make It’
No, this isn’t about you portraying someone else but technically yes. You set up a fake profile and send the friend request to your kid. I know this is some next level spying but bear with me. Facebook privacy, for example, has allowed kids to restrict their family members by altering privacy settings for them and the adults can’t know what these little ones are up to.
So this way you get past their privacy controls and take a peek at what they are liking, sharing and have on friends’ list. This is not limited to Facebook only, you can experiment with it around different social media platforms and different ids/email addresses.
5. Google Alerts
Google alerts are a great way to up the ante in this spy game of yours. As a parent, you can create Google alert with your kid’s full name or their alias. So whenever any mention or post is made on the web with that name an email lands in your inbox notifying you of the activity which took place (by who and when).
In addition, you can set up alerts for your kid’s closest friends as well. A man is known by the company he keeps, remember?
6. Getting Others Involved
It’s a lot of responsibility raising kids as it is and then you have to play James Bond as well, so don’t shy from involving other members of the family too such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors etc. to help you in this matter. Apparently, there will be a lot of surveillance but again it is for their good.
7. Talk to Them
There is no substitute for actually conversing with your kids. Just lay it out in the open and tell them the harms, they have to know at some point the ills the internet carry. What if they get caught into one of those situations where it will be difficult to bounce back from? Hence, it is okay to tell them and hear what they have to say in response. Then clarify right from wrong for them.
Online privacy invasion cannot be encouraged (though I have above, but those are just for informational purposes) and if kids find out that you have spied on them all this time, it will have a devastating impact on their health and self-esteem. Resolve matters by talking first then resort to all the techniques listed.
You will literally be helping them in becoming responsible adults when they come of age. They will, as a result, be more practical when being online instead of taking things as all fun and games.
Feeling the spy in you yet, dear parents?
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Joseph Carey majors in psychology and is associated with social sciences at TrueEssayHelp.co.uk.