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10 Things to Make Surfing Safer for Your Kids


Things you can do right now to make surfing safer for your kids:


#1) Given that Google is the largest search engine that kids will likely use, activate Google Safe Search. This will minimize (not entirely eliminate) the risks of your child seeing inappropriate web sites, images, and videos. Again, remember that Google Safe Search is not 100% effective at filtering out all inappropriate content, but it is a good first start for younger kids. Remember that you will have to set up Safe Search in each browser you use (Google, Safari, Firefox) as it does not carry over across multiple browsers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWBHpfg7SVM

#2) Given that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google (oh, by the way, YouTube is now owned by Google), and a site where kids go all the time to search out video, activate YouTube’s “Safety Mode.” Much like Google Safe Search, Safety Mode acts like a filter to keep out inappropriate content. Again, remember that this function is not 100% effective at filtering out all inappropriate video content, but like Safe Search, it is a good first start for younger kids. Remember that you will have to set up Safety Mode in each browser you use (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox) as it does not carry over across multiple browsers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXk5-QUMAo8

#3) if you are using Facebook or Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), or allowing your child to use Facebook or Instagram, make sure you update your privacy settings and clean out your friends list. Remember that Facebook, whenever they send out a software update, it often bumps your privacy settings back to a lower setting. This is why it is so important to ensure that you check your privacy settings at least once a month.

Facebook:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xAUyoaS8Ss

Instagram:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXDf5Qci7xs&t=

#4) Secure all web browsers that you may be using (Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome). Most of these browsers also offer filtering tools that help to ensure that your kids have a “safer” browsing experience that can be located in the tools settings.

#5) Update “Parental Settings” on your Mac OS or Windows PC. Just like your internet browser, your operating systems also offers its own set of parental controls which allow you to set time limits, access restrictions to specific applications and programs on your computer, plus other important topics that you can choose to use.

Windows Parental Control

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VEAqg6gFJg

Mac Parental Controls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIzvctJMFt0

#6) Consider installing “overt” monitoring hardware and software (meaning that everyone using the computer knows it is being used). One of the best products on the market that I recommend is “Home guard” by Veridium and KidsWifi which can be used on both a Mac and PC. These two products allow the parent to capture screen shots of everything that pops up on the monitor, tracks every keystroke typed, captures every web site visited, captures every email sent and received including any and all attachments, captures all chat activity, captures everything done in Facebook and other social networks, captures all online searches in any and every browser used, captures all programs used. Home Guard then prepares a report for your review that you can program to see daily, bi-weekly, weekly, or monthly via your email.

http://veridium.net

KidsWifi:

KidsWifi is both a hardware/software solution that acts as your child’s primary WiFi access point in your home or even when away (like at the grandparents for a weekend). Once your child connects to KidsWiFi, it filters, monitors and controls all your kids online devices, from tablets, computers, game consoles, and even devices brought by visiting friends. Some of the filtering features offered by KidsWifi include blocking adult and mature sexual content, limiting social network connections, blocking the accessing of gambling and illegal downloads, blocking ads, restricting identity trackers, and Google/YouTube search filtering.

KidsWiFI is simple to setup. Most other products on the market, the parent needs a computer science degree to get a product installed on the child’s device. After plugging in KidsWifi to an electrical outlet, you now use your computer or mobile device to set it up, which only takes 5 basic steps and Shazam, your kids are ready for a “safer” way to access the internet.

The online parent dashboard that comes with their product helps you to increase or decrease filtering and monitoring. Controls are again very simple to use, add, remove or even change settings depending on the age of your child.

This parental tool is ideal for those who have kids in elementary school (K-6) or younger. As with all tools, nothing is perfect, but KidsWifi is an excellent hardware protective measure every parent should use. We recommend using additional software monitoring and filtering solutions for when kids are in the public and out of range of KidsWifi.

When KidsWiFI is combined with a device’s parental control settings and additional software on the device, we have now created a “safer” digital access ecosystem for our kids. We believe, and will continue to believe, that monitoring and filtering, combined with parental communication and participation, is a must until such time as our kids are digitally literate enough to no longer require continued parental oversight, and can go it alone.

https://www.thewhitehatter.ca/kidswifi

#7) Consider installing monitoring and filtering software on their mobile phones. For iPhones and some Android phones we recommend Netsanity, and all other Android phones, and even iPhones if you want to double the monitoring, is the App “Bark”

https://netsanity.net

https://www.bark.us

#8) Ensure that you are using a router. A router allows your computer to stay more invisible while you are surfing online, making it harder for a “creeper” to do bad things to your computer. Routers are cheap and easily installed. Most internet service providers, like Shaw, offer a modem and router all built into one device. Please ensure with your service provider that you have one of these hybrid units because if you do not, you will need to buy a third-party vendor product like a D-Link or an Apple AirPort

Router PC: http://www.dlink.ca/category/productcategories/?cid=1

Router Apple: http://www.apple.com/wifi/

#9) Secure your child’s Xbox, Nintendo, and Playstaion gaming consoles. Modern gaming stations allow texting, audio, and face-to-face video to take place meaning that anyone can connect with your kids if you do not have the security settings up and running.

The ESRB has a fairly useful list of how-to guide for most modern gaming systems http://www.esrb.org/about/settingcontrols.aspx

#10) Talk to your kids about internet and social media safety and being a good digital citizen while online. Remember that at younger ages, parental supervision while online is a must. Also remember that parental monitoring in isolation doesn't work thus why it needs to be combined with parental participation and communication. Here’s a video where we talk all out these important online safety elements

https://vimeo.com/203142213

If you as the parent implement the above noted 10 steps, it will make your child’s surfing experience much safer.

Darren Laur

AKA #thewhitehatter


Call

250-478-9119

Toll-Free

1-855-478-9119

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