Internet safety for kids: How to keep your kids safe online
Here are some valuable tips on ensuring Internet safety for kids in Singapore. Read on to find out more about how to keep your kids safe online!
The Internet can be a dangerous place for kids. Predators, cyber-bullies, inappropriate videos – they all pose a huge threat to our kids if we let them surf the net unsupervised. So how do we ensure Internet safety for kids in Singapore?
There is a huge range of solutions on the market that can help you keep your kids safe online by monitoring and controlling children’s online activity. But choosing the right software can be confusing and very time consuming.
To help you make the right choice, here are some great tips on what functionality you should look for and an overview of some great free programs that will ensure Internet safety for kids.
A good parental control software should be able to:
- Block access to inappropriate websites and content in categories selected by you.
- Work no matter what browser or device your child uses.
- Include a time management function to define a weekly schedule for when your child is permitted to use the Internet.
- Produce reports so you can easily check up on your child’s online activities.
- Define different configurations for different children.
You may think that all this functionality is bound to cost the earth, but that is where you are wrong. There are a number of great free programs that can be downloaded to ensure you are fully in control and that your children don’t run into trouble.
Two very good all-round programs that offer full-scale parental control are Norton Family Online and Windows Live Family Safety.
Norton Family Online – Software to ensure Internet safety for kids
This is a powerful parental control tool with plenty of very useful features, all meeting the above criteria. What it does:
- Blocks access to websites by URL and type, such as “pornography”, “gambling”, “shopping” – there are 40 categories in total.
- Enables you to set times when your children are allowed to use the computer.
- The reporting function allows you to see which sites are being visited and web searches.
- Monitors instant messaging and sends email alerts if problems are identified (attempts to access blocked content etc.).
- Easy to set up and you can configure the program separately for different children.
Windows Live Family Safety – Software to ensure Internet safety for kids
This is Microsoft’s parental control solution, part of their free virus protection software, Windows Live Essentials. What it does:
- Tracks each of your children’s Internet usage across multiple computers (a feature not found in all of the paid-for products).
- Tracks instant messaging conversations and control who your kids can chat with.
- Limits games your children can play based on ESRB ratings (to make sure they are age appropriate).
- Offers remote management, detailed reports and email alerts on any violation.
So if you are using Windows Live Essentials on your family computers it makes sense to enable the Family Safety component. If not, it does require quite a lot of time and energy to set up from scratch.
Find out how to ease our kid-related social networking worries on the next page.
Internet safety for kids: Social networking worries
Social networking is the ‘in thing’ for youngsters on the Internet. But with access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter comes an added risk to your kids from online predators, cyberbullies etc.
In light of this, a new breed of parental monitoring programs, aimed specifically at social networking, has emerged in recent years. What is great for us worried parents is that some of these tools are free as well!
- Tracks your child’s activity on social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
- Has an online dashboard which summarises all activity and highlights potential problems like risky posts or a suspicious new friend.
- You can leave your kids some privacy by only viewing the alerts, but if a significant problem arises, the entire social network activities across the sites are available.
- Focused on Twitter and Facebook.
- Closely monitors postings, up-loads and list of friends, offering similar warnings of offensive posting and dodgy activities.
- Graphs Facebook activity by hour for each day of the week, so you can tell whether your children are using Facebook at inappropriate times.
Which tool do you use?
The choice is up to you and your personal requirements. What I love is that there is a choice of highly capable free tools out there, which will give you peace of mind that you are doing all you can to protect your children from the dangers of cyber space.
You don’t have to make a commitment with your wallet so why not download them, try them out and choose what’s best for you?