In today’s ever more digital world, concerns for our children are moving beyond the traditional worries of them coming home after dark. For now, we’re more worried about what they’re getting up to on the internet – with online payments, social media and chat rooms all accessible at the touch of a button, it’s a concern that our parents’ generation did not have.
So how can we stay safe online? Here are a few tried and tested methods that can ensure both you and your children are protected.
If you can’t beat them, join them!
Those who are worried about asking their teenagers what sites they are surfing should perhaps consider going incognito – for example, rather than standing over them and watching them on Twitter, why not follow them? Alternatively, consider making your own Facebook profile – it may be easier to immerse yourself in the world of social media to put your mind at ease.
Implement parental controls
It’s one thing to keep an eye on what sites your children might be browsing which contain ‘inappropriate’ material; but it’s another to protect yourself as well. Many sites which are over 18s only can require users to log their payment details. If you’re wise however, you’ll only use sites with their own parental controls. This is particularly notable for over 18s sites such as online casinos, so you need to be aware of your provider. Ruby Fortune has its own parental controls to make sure children are not accessing inappropriate material.
Keep your children in the loop
One facet of the internet that encompasses both the need for children’s safety and your own is keeping them informed about privacy. When they get to an age in which they would be interested in the aforementioned social media sites, arrange a time to sit down and talk to them about staying private online.
For one, stress the importance of never giving away any of their personal details online. This is more than just an email address – it’s also important not to give away a name, phone number, home or school address, or any photos. Moreover, for your personal security, make sure they are never giving away any payment details, and if they must make a purchase, ensure you are supervising to make sure it is an encrypted site.
Whether we love it or hate it, children using the internet in 2015 is just something that we are going to have to accept – but you can do your best to intervene to make sure both you and your family are safe.