As a parent, your top priority is to keep your children safe from harm. There are all sorts of things parents do to keep their children safe at home but what about keeping them safe online?
With the increase in internet based technology, it’s no real surprise that your toddlers are better at using iPads than your parents but this change does mean that you need to keep on top of internet safety just as you might ensure the stair gate is always closed.
Here are three basic rules to keep them safe online.
You can easily install parental locks to restrict the access your child has to your phone or iPad. This system will make sure you stay in charge of your child’s activity online by protecting your apps with passwords and restricting the amount of time they can play on a particular app at once. The best thing to do while your child is learning how to use your phone or ipad is to play with them and supervise what they are doing. As they get older, you will be able to trust them to play on their own more but at a young age, they need that extra bit of support to keep them safe.
Choose Approved Apps
There are so many games and apps aimed at children, it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Finding a safe app for kids is no mean feat with so many things to consider. Try to find apps that are approved by children’s charities or other trusted organisations like the BBC or the government. If you are unsure about an app then the best thing to do is avoid allowing your child to play before you have had a go yourself. It is always better to be safe than sorry so if you are still uncertain then don’t allow your child to play on that app.
Set Playtime Rules
Lots of parents worry that too much screen time will cause problems for their young children later in life but there is also research that suggests some screen time is beneficial for children. With so many factors involved, setting playtime rules really comes down to your best judgement as a parent. For example, you might allow your child to play an educational game for a bit longer than a simple entertainment game. You might also want to restrict the times during the day that your child is allowed to play as looking at screens just before bedtime may make sleeping more difficult. You know your child best so follow your instincts and make sure everyone knows the rules.
Keeping track of your child’s activity online is the best way to make sure they are safe and happy while they play. Get involved, pick apps that you both enjoy and make the most of the technology they get to grow up with.