The Five Must Do’s To Keep You Child Safe Online

Gone are the days where children had to wait to be in their teens before they were allowed a smartphone. Today, no matter where you go you’ll see kids as young as three playing on devices and statistics show that over half of children under 10 have a mobile phone.

The internet can be a dangerous place though, not least for your wallet. We’ve all seen the horror stories of children racking up thousand dollar bills on in-app purchases and naturally, we’ve all read about how vulnerable children can be online too.

But that can be prevented, and as parents there are a number of things that we can do to make sure our children stay safe online.

Turn Off In-App Purchases

Turning on restrictions will prevent any unintentional or unwelcome purchases from your children, meaning they can play games without your supervision.

Add a passcode, one that’s different from the actual device, so restrictions can’t be unlocked and you can even make sure you add a password for each download, meaning you’ll have to check what your child wants to download before they get to play.

Become Facebook Friends With Your Children

Whether you’re a fan of social media or not, it’s likely your children will be and eventually will sign up.

This can be worrying for a parent. Over half of teenagers using Facebook claim to have been bullied, and naturally, they could be chatting to anyone.

By engaging with your child on social media, you’re making them aware you’re watching them, and making other people aware of your existence. Being able to view their profile will give you the opportunity to see a number of things. You’ll be able to see who they’re contacting, whether they’re behaviour is acceptable, and whether they’re on the receiving end of any unacceptable behaviour.

A recent campaign by Fix Apple Now, that looks into safeguarding children online, also notices the importance of having the log-in details for your kids accounts, so you can check any private messages your children are receiving.

Set Your Child’s Location To Private

You can restrict a number of devices and smartphones from showing location data. Allowing your child to ‘check-in’ on Facebook or revealing their location can cause a number of problems, the most being strangers will know their whereabouts.

Who’s Following Who

While it’s important you follow and engage with your child as a Facebook friend, it’s also a good idea to regularly monitor who they’re adding and who’s trying to add them across social media.

By doing this regularly, you’ll be able to ensure they aren’t being contacted by anyone they shouldn’t be.

Don’t Let Them Spend Too Long Online

It’s thought that during the school summer holidays, children spend more than twice as long on their mobile phones, so by giving them periods of allowed usage will limit that. Becoming obsessed with being online can affect a child’s attention, eyesight, and language skills it’s thought, so it’s important to limit their access.