CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Kids are spending more time online than ever before, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s because they’re doing a lot of their schoolwork virtually. Not to mention the growing number of social media sites, like Snapchat or TikTok.
It’s easier for kids to come across an inappropriate website than you might think.
That leaves it up to parents to literally take control of their child’s smartphone or computer.
Apple gives parents plenty of chances to do just that if their child has an iPhone, iPad, MacBook, you name it.
The tech company enables parents to restrict their child’s web searches and game center, set content and privacy restrictions, and keep them from buying anything on iTunes or the App store.
If your child doesn’t have a MacBook or Apple product, Google and Microsoft have online security features too. Just search parental controls on their websites.
Other options you have to monitor your kid’s Internet activity include installing some apps on their devices. There are dozens of them out there that get the job done.
Apps like Net Nanny and Our Pact keep an eye on what they’re looking at, and monitor screen time. You do have to pay a subscription fee to use them.
Updating the settings on your Internet browser won’t cost you anything though.
Use it to monitor your child’s web history, plus delete cookies and pop up ads that could target them.
It’s also important to check up on their social media accounts. What are they posting on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok – the list goes on? Who are their “friends,” and whose pages are they following?
Experts say you should also talk to your child about which websites or smartphone apps are OK to check out in the first place, and how long they can use the Internet for work and for play.
Also, make sure to remind them not to talk to strangers online, just like they shouldn’t in person either.
Making some online security changes not only keeps your child safe, but it also allows them to focus on what’s really important right now – getting through virtual school until things get back to normal again.
Maybe these security measures you’re taking seem like overkill right now, but your kid will thank you for it someday.