Keeping your children safe on the internet is a problem that all parents have, especially as the amount of children needing to login is ever-growing. With the increased demand of children using the internet for schoolwork, how can parents be certain that their children are safe on the internet?
The first thing that you will need to be sure of is that you have the best router for parental controls possible. Not all routers come with built-in parental controls and it may not have been a feature you were looking for when you bought your router. If you have them, it is important to have them set up properly.
What to Look For
When buying a router with parental controls, you should look for the following:
- Content filtering
- Time limitations
- Mobile app control
- Security features
Most web browsers will allow you to lock them down as well to limit content, but the amount of other features you need depends on your situation.
Setting up Parental Controls
It is a common misconception that parental controls are difficult to setup. There are a few options for setting up parental controls, however, which can depend greatly on what needs to be locked down. Devices will often come with parental control options, but that is varies depending on the device.
If you have a router that comes with parental controls, you should start with getting those settings configured. You can do this by going to your router’s administration page. If you have not logged into it yet, the login information should have come with your router and might even be printed on the bottom.
From the router’s settings page, you should be able to find the security measures for parental controls. The more sophisticated routers will allow you to identify which devices have access to what types of websites and might even have time allowances available to limit if you need to. The amount you lock it down is entirely up to you.
Beyond parental controls, how can you ensure that your children are safe online? One thing that you can do is lock down your privacy settings. The very first way to do this is to change the login information your for router. There is always a default name and password, but for most routers, these are the same for any router that is made by that brand, which means it would not take a lot for someone from the outside to figure out how to get into your network.
Beyond keeping outsiders away from your network, you can limit privacy access on a device to device basis. If your child uses an iPad, for example, you can restrict the settings in the device to ensure that your child does not have access to purchase anything or to visit any type of website that might be highly inappropriate for them.
Likewise, you need to restrict access to social networks, where privacy can be most at-risk for children. You can manually block these websites individually, or some parental control routers will allow you to do a full-sweep block, keeping your children away from accessing them.
Most modern devices that children use should have some privacy settings built into them. It is ideal for you to go onto the devices that your children access and lock them all down there as well as having a parental control router in place. Do not assume that any device, even if it is made for children, will automatically have privacy and parental controls in place. While these devices have some default settings, you need to really lock it down for your own peace of mind.
Beyond that, monitor the activity of your children’s online usage. See what websites they are using and discuss the importance of internet safety with them. With enough pre-emptive thought and action in place, you should be able to keep your children safe online.
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