Guiding Your Kids Online Habits – Works for Grown-ups Too!

Date: September 19, 2018, Category: Parenting

We are almost always online these days, with work, social media and games and a whole slew of other activities online. Whatever the reasons might be, know that you or whomever it is that logs in to something online is a target. The dangers only exponentially increase if you have a family with kids that have started to be interested in what the internet has to offer. This article is what it's all about, kids and the internet. As parents, the bulk of internet or online safety for your kids fall squarely on your shoulders, and as in surviving everything, knowing is already winning half the battle. For would-be parents, or parents, it is a good idea to join forums, check out parenting blogs like, or join social media groups for great tips and ideas on how to kind of guide your youngsters in navigating the World Wide Web. Who knows, those tips you get might be for you as well! Kids, born around the year 2000 would be what we might call internet "natives" these kids have not known a world without internet, and they actually might be looking at the internet in a different way than us. Natives are more open to technology, and surprisingly, enjoy sharing of ideas and look at fellow human beings as equals. However, on to how we guide these young people online - please read on.

Guiding Your Kids Online Habits

Subtlety Works

As a parent, if you directly confront a headstrong child and tell them, "no, you cannot use your iPad," chances are you would be facing tantrums and a downright no. With children, it is important to be subtle and diplomatic. For example, do not put smart tv's or computers in their bedrooms. Put a working desktop in your living room or your homes library where you can pop in and take a look at what they are doing online. Use apps to control your Wi-Fi network and without them realizing it limit their access. You see, doing these things nudges them and not necessarily pushing them towards network independence. Moreover, by independence, we mean not having a fit when they cannot watch their favorite YouTube videos. So, in their minds you are not telling them not to engage in such activities, it is just that you are not making it easier for them either, right?

Know Their Tech

This is by far one of the most important knowledge you can add to your arsenal when dealing with children's gadgets. As they are unavoidable, there are built-in locks and parental controls in most of the gadgets today. As an example, instead of the usual YouTube application that is embedded in the software of your device, uninstall it and let your kids use YouTube kids instead. This is a child-friendly version of YouTube and allows only child-friendly content when they search for videos. App selection is one thing, securing your home network is another. As a multitude of devices most probably is connected to your network, it is a target for hackers, identity thieves, and worse, online predators. Know that you need to have a strong and robust password to be able to defend against hackers that are out to get your data. A strong password is a long password. Long and complex will deter most casual attackers. Start with 12-15 characters and you will be all set and will be afforded a measure of safety for your network. Again, use your routers app companion or third-party software to monitor anyone that is connected to your home network. These apps will give you the visibility as to who, what device, and how many are still actively connected to your network. Perfect for catching any of your kids still connected while way past their bedtimes.

Know Their Tech

Social Media

Common sense will dictate to limit your children's social media presence. By this we mean you, limit the personal information you post on social media as they might lead unwanted personalities to your child. Disable geotagging on your camera phones, and if can be helped, avoid posting pictures of your little ones too. Again, the keyword is the limitation on personal details that go out digitally. By the time your kids become teens, they would have developed this same trend in their social media accounts and be all the safer because of it.

Bottom line

So long as they remain kids, and in their early teens, it is imperative to take an active role in your children's internet activities. Please talk about the do's and don'ts with them and explain the dangers of this new world of interconnectedness to them. Sometimes being aware is just what it takes for them to be safe.