In the modern age, it is often hard to know whether or not your child’s online activity is safe. Not only is there the threat of Cyberbullying, but it is also for your child to do something that endangers the privacy of your entire family. Not only that, but your child could also be exposed to content that is not age appropriate.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to whether or not you should monitor your child’s activity. We will take you through each of the threats that exist for your children when they are online and how you can deal with it in a reasonable and appropriate manner.
Threat: Accessing Inappropriate Content
This is by far the biggest issue that parents face in our opinion. Since it is physically impossible to monitor your child’s internet activity in its entirety, it is more than likely that your child may be exposed to inappropriate content without you knowing about it.
Inappropriate content can be anything from films with excessive gore to pornographic content. In modern times, it is easier than ever to access anything from the internet, and it is entirely up to the user to have child locks in place as the makers of the websites refuse to take any responsibility.
According to any parental control, pedophiles have approached at least 1 in 5 children currently online. This makes protecting your child from any content not meant for children an utmost priority.
Solution: Monitor, Restrict and Educate
A problem with as many variables as the one above also has a lot of solutions. Cybersecurity Experts over at VPNpro have a detailed guide on internet safety for kids. In this guide, they give you tips and tricks on how to monitor your child’s internet activity without being intrusive.
Threat: Privacy and Anonymity
In modern times, it is more important than ever that you protect your children and their identity from being exposed to strangers. Cyberbullying may be a huge issue, but it is much easier to manage since it is done by people you or your child knows. Children are naturally curious and easy to manipulate which is why you need to make sure their activity cannot be monitored by anyone else.
Solution: Use a VPN
This is by far the best way to deal with any anonymity issues faced by your child when browsing the internet. A VPN will route your traffic through a server in a remote location and will spoof your location. A VPN will also make sure that even if someone is able to discover your child’s activity, they are unable to access it (most VPNs use AES-256 encryption).
We recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN as it has all the features that you need to make sure your child’s privacy is safeguarded whenever he or she is using the internet.
Although the threat of Cyberbullying is now less than it was a few years ago due to how adept everyone has become at noticing and stopping it, there is still a significant amount of Cyberbullying on the internet and it is important for you to be aware of your child being involved in such an activity, both as a victim or a victimizer.
Solution: Regular Discussions
In our opinion, the best way to deal with Cyberbullying is to educate your child as much as you can about it. You need to make sure that not only is your child never bullied when using the internet, but he also does not try and bully someone else when online.
Also, remember that it is not only your own child that you need to be having discussions with. Chances are that if your kid is being Cyberbullied, it is someone from his or her school who is the aggressor. For this reason, it is important to have regular meetings with teachers so as to make sure that there are no changes in your child’s behaviour which could be indicative of Cyberbullying.
Alternatively, you can use Surveil Star to easily monitor your child’s activity. Surveil Star allows you to take snapshots, monitor emails, capture messages, and is extremely easy to use. However, remember that kids do not take such massive intrusions in their privacy lightly, and can be very hard to deal with if they discover you are using software like this one.
In the end, it is important to remember to not to go overboard with protecting your children. Most of the time, whatever they are doing is harmless, and you want them to make innocent mistakes as this is how they learn and mature.
Young children learn a lot from their parents, and having regular discussions with them about their online activity is the best thing you can do. In our experience, guiding your children on how they should be using the internet is more effective than any software which restricts their access to portions of the internet or monitors their activity.
As long as you have strict measures in place which will protect them from any extreme case of Cyberbullying, manipulation, or inappropriate content, then you should allow your children to have unsupervised internet time (at least partly) and should trust them not to make the wrong choices.