Summer is here and it’s time to check that our kids are safe online, whether they are using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or tv. Research says kids start using smartphones when they are as young as 2, watching sites like YouTube when they’re 6 or 8, and getting their own phones when they’re 8-10. Here are 5 tips to keep kids safe online without spying or constantly questioning them about their internet activity?
1. Bully alert
The apps VISR and MamaBear will send parents a notification right to their phone if their child is being bullied on social media. Here’s how: the app is connected to your child’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. It regularly scans their account for issues that matter the most — from inappropriate language, to bullying and more. It’ll let you know whether your children are sharing their Instagram pics publicly, if there’s nudity or if posts are geotagged — which lets people know their geographic location or address.
2. Kid-friendly YouTube
YouTube has an app, YouTube Kids, that’s curated just for young children. The site even has a built-in timer so your son or daughter knows when it’s time to stop watching. This app works for pre-school and elementary school age, so your child can safely find videos that are age appropriate.
3. Find hidden content
While you might think that your account or your child’s Facebook account is private, chances are much of the information being shared is in fact available but hidden. You can find a Facebook User ID number then search behind the scenes to find this information using co-author Michael Bazzell’s Facebook tools, found here: https://inteltechniques.com/osint/facebook.html.
4. Control Internet access
Control internet access to any device at home at any time using an app called Kidslox. Parents can use its schedules feature to block access to devices during homework time, dinner time and bedtime. You can even turn each device from normal to a restricted mode with a single tap.
5. Make a family pact
Together with your kids, write up an “internet rules agreement” and post it in a common room like the kitchen or living room.
Parenting experts say it doesn’t have to be a battle, but suggest
parents learn to parent in the technology age, and that means understanding safety parameters, not overreacting, but coming to a safer agreement.
ClickAway Blog Article Update:
Online games and websites for kids are everywhere these days. It’s commonplace to see toddlers playing with them, too. And while the internet often offers a positive way for children to explore and learn, privacy concerns are lurking. To help protect children’s privacy, the FTC enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The Act requires websites and online services to obtain consent from parents before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13.
According to the FTC, i-Dressup, a website allowing users to play dress-up games, and its owners violated COPPA by collecting personal information from kids – including names, email addresses, and user names – without obtaining parental consent and failing to take reasonable steps to protect this information. This led to a breach of i-Dressup’s network in August 2016. As a result of the breach, a hacker accessed the personal information and account passwords of over two million i-Dressup users, including at least 245,000 children under 13.