As a parent, things can seem scary and sometimes overwhelming out there in the Digital Jungle. We hear and read so many horror stories it seems reasonable to want to take the fear-factor down a notch or two. If you’ve attended the Internet safety talk at school you are moving in the right direction, but how can you practically put those steps into action?
- Broadband Protection – BT, Sky, Talk Talk now provide free anti-virus and broadband protection that works as a first line of defence for anyone using your Wi-Fi. It blocks websites based on key words that you control. These can also be bought it not included in your broadband package. Browsers also offer different ways of filtering out websites you don’t want your kids to visit.
- In-Built Parental Controls – Apple, PC and Google all have a decent free parental control. Make sure you have an admin/parent account on your kids’ laptops and that each user has a separate account for accessing the family computer. Smartphones also provide restrictions and age limits for downloading Music, Films and Apps. Use Apple Family Sharing so you are able to approve the apps they want to download.
- Anti-Virus – Norton, McAfee provide up to date computer virus scan and also provide Family Safety tools which allow you to set time schedules and curfews on your children’s devices. There are free smartphone apps like OurPact and DinnerTime Plus also allow curfews and control access to social media apps.
- Talk to your Kids: Talk to them about the positives of the Internet not just the negatives. Explain the reasons why you are putting restrictions in place. Have an agreement or a contract to make it official and to show the importance of it. Also make sure they know what to do if they see something upsetting on the computer and that they know they can come to you. Remind them to keep private things to themselves and above all to use common sense.
If you have questions on these topics or any other IT related issue, please get in touch.
Sylvie Garvey runs Computer Fitness, an IT support and training company. She is passionate about getting IT to help, not hinder, our lives. She spent 15 years working for a Global IT Consultancy specialising in large-scale IT Transformation projects. Her 3 children and home-run business have provided plenty of experience of typical small business and home IT challenges, as well as the specific tech challenges that occur when setting up parental control and family safety. She runs makes home visits, runs workshops and one to one training across London and the South West.
Contact Sylvie here to help with your internet security at home.