The Holiday season is here and with it comes more online shopping and internet browsing than ever. As your family goes online with their new tech gadgets, it’s important to remember internet safety.
Finding ways to keep your children safe while online has become more difficult. There seems to be a new app or social network released every day. Kids have more access to information, and people, than ever before.
There are many reasons you should be concerned about your child’s safety while online such as identity theft, pornography, malware/ransomware and more. We’ve asked some of our Executech experts about the best practices for internet safety for the whole family. These are the techniques that our IT technicians use in their own families to keep them safe online.
Keep The Computer In An Open Area
This has become a pretty common practice for most families. Having your main computer in an open area ensures that everyone knows what’s happening onscreen. While this is more difficult with mobile devices, you may want to consider a rule that kids can’t be on their phones while alone or isolated.
Review & Practice Internet Safety Rules
We’ve written about digital security tips in the past and it’s important to be reminded of the basics. Make sure you’re teaching your children about passwords, sharing online information and social network best practices. Review the basics of online browsing regularly to make sure it stays top of mind.
Establish Expectations & Communication
Keeping an open channel of communication with your children is essential and beneficial for so many reasons. Make sure your children feel comfortable discussing their online habits with you. Establish expectations for behavior and screen time with the whole family.
Setup Parental Controls
Even with open communication and family rules in place, it’s important to have software that adds another layer of protection. Make sure you have antivirus and firewall software installed on your computer. There are also many additional plugins and software that will block categories of sites, control time and other parental control features.
Our Pact: Mobile Parental Control App
One of our favorite apps to help monitor and control internet time on smartphones is Our Pact. This app was designed for families in mind and has a lot of features. You can control who can send or receive text messages, regulate active internet times, authorize apps, and use GPS location services. There is a free and paid version depending on how many features you need.
Make sure you and your family are browsing the internet safely this holiday season, and year round! Let us know if you have other apps or software you use to keep your family safe on the internet.