Every parent’s priority is to ensure their kids are safe wherever they go - and that includes keeping your kids safe online. This can seem like a daunting task.
As we all know, the internet can be a dangerous place and with such wide access, it is the parents’ job to assure that kids are protected.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to increase your children’s safety online. Here go our top 5 tips for keeping your kids safe online!
1. Start discussing safety online as early as possible
As soon as your children encounter the internet – which at first should be via a parent’s device and, of course, supervised – begin the conversation about safety online.
You can explain the need to be careful when using devices connected to the internet, in the same way, that you teach children to be careful when crossing roads in real life.
Start with simple safety concepts – like not talking to strangers, just like in real life – and you can move on through the trickier stuff as they get older.
2. Keep the conversation open and understand what your kids are doing - and why!
Once your kids are using devices more independently, be sure to sit down with them frequently to discuss safety. Crucially, listen to them!
You should allow them to explain to you what they are doing, so you can understand their point of view and their motives. Articulating what they are up to will also help kids consider their actions online more carefully.
Entering their world will enable you to handle any risky behaviour in a non-confrontational and constructive way – which leads neatly on to the next tip.
3. Don’t ban your kids from doing things you don’t like
Banning things that you are not comfortable with is not always the best solution. Indeed, it can often make it even more tempting for a child to explore the forbidden fruit!
Instead, you must make your son or daughter understand why a certain behaviour or website makes you uncomfortable.
In this way, you build a relationship on trust rather than fear. Make sure they know that when they are old enough, they will be able to use the internet as they please, but that as a parent, it’s your role to make sure they are safe.
4. Know which apps your kids use - and choose wisely
As noted in Tip 2, it is essential to listen to your kids and learn from them how they are using their devices and the internet.
You and your child can decide together on which apps they have access to. Of course, your job as the responsible parent is to make sure these decisions are wise.
This can be challenging, as kids will naturally want to use certain apps – social media, for example – before they are ready to do so. Again, your trust-based relationship on the topic of the internet and devices is crucial.
Fortunately, there are lots of safe apps for all sorts of things and for all age groups. We at Magikbee built our own – KidsBeeTV, the safe and edutainment video app for kids. That would be a great option for a child who loves watching videos.
5. Spend time together offline!
It might sound obvious, but it is still a crucial bit of advice: spend time offline with your kids. Play board games, go to the park or bake cakes together. There are thousands of 100% offline activities that you can enjoy with your children.
These activities are good for your kids – and good for you! Even light exercise, like a gentle bike ride, is great for your health.
Meanwhile, teaching your child to enjoy real-life activities from an early age will help them understand the need for balance between time spent across the online and offline worlds. And they’ll also discover wholesome, healthy hobbies to enjoy for their whole lives!
There you have it! Our top five tips for keeping your kids safe online. Stay safe guys!