Safer Internet Day: Our top 5 tips to keep your children safe online

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

07 February 2017

Today is Safer Internet Day—the day when across the globe, we unite to talk about the best ways to promote a better, safer internet for everyone.

One of the biggest challenges we face in the modern age is keeping our children safe online. Kids are connected to the web as soon they learn to swipe on an iPad, and from then, it becomes our responsibility to teach them the boundaries of safe and positive internet use use.

But what’s the best way to ensure you’re helping your kids navigate their way through the web?

Here are our top five tips:

Talk to Your Children

No matter what age your child is, there simply no substitute for having open and frank discussions about the dangers of the web—and having these discussions often. But conversations around web safety don’t have to be so serious. Check in with your child from time to time, and try to get a sense of what they like to do online, and who they chat to. Ask about their favourite websites, and take an interest in their online hobbies. As well as ensuring that your child knows how to stay safe, consider printing off a reminder and keeping it next to your computer area. You can never be too sure.

Block Inappropriate Content

Parental controls are now standard on streaming services like Netflix, and there are parental control plugins for most browsers and apps for most devices these days. These allow you to restrict any user’s access to certain websites, and can often allow different controls for each user, meaning that your child will be protected while older users can bypass the controls. Google’s SafeSearch feature even filters adult content from search results, so your child can’t accidentally find something they shouldn’t.

Agree on Social Media Security

When your children reach the age of wanting their own Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat accounts, it’s time to sit down with them and go through the security options of each platform. Explain what each option means, and who can see the things they post. A child is a lot less likely to post something worrying online if they truly understand how visible it makes them. Check in from time to time, and go over security settings often. This should always be a conversation.

Invest in a VPN

SurfEasy VPN uses bank-grade encryption to ensure that you can’t be tracked online and allows you to surf the web anonymously, protecting not only your child but your whole family. The easily-downloadable app means that all of your devices can be protected, so whether your child is using a smartphone, a tablet or a computer to access the web, you can rest safe in the knowledge that they can browse without being watched.

Stay approachable

Don’t allow conversations around internet safety to become too fraught or too heavy. It’s better to explain to your children why you’re concerned for their safety, and to encourage them to talk to you about anything they’re worried about. This means that they’re more likely to come to you when they’re facing a challenge, feeling uncomfortable, or have done something to threaten their safety. Stay approachable, stay understanding, and let them know you’re always there to talk.

To invest in your family’s security today, go to surfeasy.com.

And don’t forget: It’s all about communication.

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