7 Ways to Keep Kids Safe(er) Online + Infographic

For all its positives, the internet can be a scary place, especially for a mom with kids who go online. How can you keep your kids safe online? Here are some helpful hints to get you started limiting and monitoring their internet access to keep your kids safe(er) online.

Family Accounts

Look into family accounts that allow you to monitor your children’s online activities (Google Family Link, Microsoft Family Groups, Apple Screen Time, Family Sharing, etc.)

Device Settings

Create settings for each device. Most devices have at least some level of basic parental controls/security for the device as a whole.

App Settings

Create settings for each app. Many settings don’t carry over from device to device, so if your child plays Minecraft on a tablet at home and your phone when you’re out, you’ll need to customize the settings for both.

Limits

Set limits for screen time and/or for certain apps. Whether you subscribe to the American Academy of Pediatrics thinking on screen time or the “mommy just needs 10 minutes to preserve her insanity” philosophy, make a conscious decision and (try to) stick to it.

Location

Keep all screens in family areas. All the filters and controls in the world are not a replacement for parental supervision.

Communicate openly

If your child accidentally stumbles across something inappropriate, talk with them about it at an age-appropriate level. Don’t blame or shame them, or they won’t come to you in the future. Keep your lines of communication open.

Expectations

Perhaps most importantly, be clear with your child about your expectations for their internet use. There are many digital “contracts” online that you can use as models for ideas of guidelines you may want to implement for your family.


What strategies do you use to keep your kids safe online?

Resources:

Internet Safety 101
Google Family Safety Center
iTunes Safety
Firefox Parental Controls
Microsoft Family Groups


 

Sara is a NW Iowa native who moved across the state to become a Hawkeye! After her time at the U of I, she left for optometry school and residency before coming home to Iowa to start her “adult” life in Coralville. She was in clinical practice for 5 years before trying her hand at the research side of eye care, working on clinical trials in the pharma/biotech industry. Sara is a wife, mom to a 5-year-old boy, and step-mom to four teenagers! Because her son was born at 25 weeks and had a lengthy NICU stay, Sara is passionate about all things related to prematurity, especially parent support in the NICU. She loves connecting with fellow NICU moms, both online and in person. Sara also enjoys spending time with friends and extended family, reading, scrapbooking, organizing, knitting, travel, keeping up with tech trends, finding new wines to enjoy, honing her photography skills, and serving on the Family Advisory Council for UI Children’s Hospital. She’s a consultant for Jamberry Nails, too, which lets her dabble in her creative side.

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