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.
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.)
Create settings for each device. Most devices have at least some level of basic parental controls/security for the device as a whole.
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.
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.
Keep all screens in family areas. All the filters and controls in the world are not a replacement for parental supervision.
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.
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?