Our kids are more tech-savvy than we can ever hope to be. We block a website, and they find a way around our blocking software. We put up a firewall; they go through it. What’s a parent to do? We can never be sure that any of our parental controls will work, but we try our best to keep our kids safe. Here are eight things you can do to make your internet parental controls a little more effective and harder to circumvent.
The impact, influence and power of the internet on our young children’s mind needs to be controlled so that the internet becomes a tool for growth and learning instead of entertainment and consumption.
We need to instill in our children the importance of being a Responsible Godly Digital Citizen to protect them from the most common dangers of the internet such as inappropriate content, cyber bullying, solicitations, phishing etc.
Our children are so much more tech-savvy than we’ll ever be at such an early age. We secure our routers; they use other access points. We limit their screen time; they find an old device to use in their rooms. What are we to do?
Below are 3 ways you can do to make your internet parental controls more effective.
Talk to your children
- Talk to your children and explain what the internet is, what it’s used for and the real dangers of being online
- Explain how you plan on keeping them safe and that you expect them to be responsible in following the rules
- Let them know that you will be checking that they will be keeping the rules by monitoring how they use the internet
- Explain that internet privileges can and will be removed if they don’t follow the rules
Secure your network
- Restrict physical access to your router / access point to avoid your children from circumventing the security settings by resetting the router to factory settings. Once you’ve done this, disable Wireless Remote Administration of your router
- Set time limits for internet access on your router
- Scan for unsecured (open) wireless networks/hotspots near your home. If there are any available, talk to your neighbour to explain your objectives, and ask them to password protect their wireless networks
- Use a free DNS Service – like OpenDNS https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/ to implement a security solution for your family router.
Secure your devices
- Enable the Parental Lock on your child’s devices
- Take inventory of all your devices at home
- Put their PC in an open area in the home
- Enable activity logging on your wireless routers
By completing the steps above, you’ll be in the minority of families that are proactive in their internet usage at home.
Securing your network and devices are supplementary to your parental care methods. We advise that you take an active role in your child’s use, learning and understanding of their online activities. Be engaged, ask questions and share wisdom with your child in all aspects of internet use.
We’ll continue to update this post as we find new tips and methods to secure your children’s internet experience.