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How To Protect Your Children Online

For most, the internet may look like a harmless virtual space filled with all of the world’s
useful information. Since only a minority of computer users get hit by online scams,
frauds, cyberstalkers, cyberbullies, or hackers, many people still don’t consider the
world wide web to be a source of possible security risks.


However, those with children don’t have the luxury of ignoring online dangers - it’s best
to learn how to protect your kids sooner, rather than later. “Against what?”, you may
ask. Well, to mention just a few of the potential online risks, we believe it is vital to
protect children against exposure to inappropriate and violent web content,
potentially harmful third-party advertising, stalking, and bullying.
Let’s see now what kinds of parental controls can help you protect your children online.


Parental Controls – driving safe on the digital highway


#1 Education

One thing you can’t begin early enough is educating your children. Apart from showing
a good example of online behavior and ethics, as soon as they can process the
information it is also important to inform your kids about possible risks. It is also
essential that your relationship with your children is one based on mutual trust, so that
they know they can come to you anytime they are exposed to something unusual or
inappropriate.

#2 Content filters and website blocking


It is possible to filter web content if you set up parental controls like the Safety Mode on
YouTube. This way you can make sure that your children can only find videos and
content that matches the criteria you previously set. However, not every website or app
has such an option.

Therefore, you may be better off installing a dedicated content filter or website
blocking app, such as the Chrome Content Filter, Net Nanny, Safe Eyes, Qustodio,
and FamilyShield.

These browser extensions and apps enable you to grant access only to certain filtered
content and websites.

#3 Child-safe web browsers

There is a shortcut if you don’t want to configure blockers and filters: You can install a
child-safe or kid-friendly browser like KidRex, Maxthon, and KidSplorer. This way,
your children won’t be able to access your browsing history or log into your banking or
social media accounts by accident. Even if your children don’t use your online devices
because they have their own, it is advisable to set up a child-safe browser to save
yourself some unnecessary headaches.

#4 App locking

Your children may not only use a browser to go online, but they may also have access
to other apps, like mobile, tablet, or computer games. And what about your online
banking app? Is it easy to launch when using your smartphone? With a tap or two, your
children could access your bank account or your Facebook profile. Imagine what they
may end up doing, even if it’s accidental. We recommend using so-called app lock
software, which can help you lock all unwanted, inappropriate, or dangerous
applications away from your kids.

#5 Safe gaming

Online gaming is probably one of the most likely sources of violent content and
inappropriate behavior. But it’s not just the games: another possible source of risk is
presented by in-game ads, which they might engage with and end up buying
unnecessary stuff or infecting your device with malware.

The topic of safe gaming is a complex one because it may require the application of
several parental control measures. As a first step, try to make sure that your children
can only download or play games that you approve of.

However, you may not always be around. So it may also be advisable to install a child-
safe browser or set up parental controls on all devices your kids may use to go
online.

In addition to controlling what games your children can play, it is also important that they
know how much time they can spend doing so. If you cannot seem to handle this
yourself, you can always install a time limiter app, such as Screen Time.
Nevertheless, the best possible means of parental control is creating a children’s
account on your device.

#6 Creating a children’s account

Even if you apply all the above tips, it is best to create a children’s account on the online
device your kids tend to use. Most operating systems enable you to set up a separate
family or children’s user account, which you can configure and limit the way you
deem fit.

#7 Using a VPN for online security and privacy

Finally, the honest truth is that it doesn’t matter how much you try to protect your
children and their privacy online if their activities on the net are otherwise unsecured.
This is where VPN apps come into play. Virtual Private Networking is the name of the
game if you want to stay anonymous and secure online against prying eyes, like
those of hackers and other cybercriminals (e.g., stalkers and bullies).

By encrypting all your activities and spoofing your true IP address, a top-notch VPN can
provide the best protection when your children connect to the web at home or through
insecure free WiFi hotspots.

Conclusion

The internet is in no way a bed of roses. Or, rather, those roses surely have thorns.
Being aware of the possible risks can save you and your children from privacy breaches
and exposure to all kinds of unwanted attention. Young children are like sponges that
collect all experiences thrown their way. Therefore, parents have a great responsibility -
to guide their children in the online world and teach them about its dangers. Following
the above tips can make your life easier and your kids safer.

For more information on cybersecurity, visit vpnpro.com.

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