Children safe on the Internet

25.08.2017

Our children are growing up with smartphones, tablets, and therefore also with the Internet. They are still toddlers when they learn to play games skilfully on their parents’ smartphone. They then learn to use a PC in primary school, and in many cases they get their first smartphone when they go to secondary school. How do you, as a parent, make sure that your children are safe on the Internet and not overwhelmed by content not intended for them? 

Set parental control

The first thing you can do is activate parental control on devices your children use. You can adjust the settings separately per user, and set time limits per day, for instance, to control the times when your children log on. In this way, you can prevent them from surfing during weekdays or until late in the evening. If they are logged on, they are automatically logged off when the authorised time expires. You can also use parental control to limit access to certain games and to allow or block certain programmes. 

Children-friendly browsers

Parental control enables you to protect your children only partially from content on the Internet you would rather not have them view. This can be done with certain browsers developed specially for children, such as Kibro or MyBee. Older children can then switch to Kidiso or KidZui. Such browsers ensure that your children stay within the browser environment and thus do not wind up at wrong places. 

They usually work with a whitelist of a certain number of websites that children can visit.  Harmful content is naturally banned. As parents, you can always suggest that certain websites are added to the whitelist. These browsers are a good solution primarily for small children. Once they are somewhat older, they can naturally find their way outside those browsers with ease. Children become tech-savvy rapidly and will circumvent Internet filters and settings if they really want to.

Make your children aware of the risks

That is why it is also important not only to give children tips on how to protect themselves on the Internet, but also to teach them to take a critical stance on what they see and read, and to make them aware of certain risks that the Internet entails. When children realise why it is best for them not to have contact with strangers on the Internet, and not to give out passwords, for instance, they will watch out better.

Childfocus provides countless tips for children and parents on its website and also supports the Veilig online initiative which helps families to use new media correctly. 

Browser

program that makes it possible to access and read web pages. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari are some well-known browsers.
Security