Internet Safety for Kids

Safe Internet Searching for Kids

We understand that internet safety for kids is a top priority for parents and teachers who are providing online access to younger children and teens alike. Safe search resources for the internet should not replace proper parental or teacher supervision, but it can go a long way to protect those most vulnerable.

You might be surprised that in some ways the internet is safer now than 15 years ago.  Of course, in many other ways it’s much more dangerous.  Due to internet providers making better attempts to separate adult content from general content, and search engines providing more filtered search, it is a little more difficult to stumble upon illicit material when you are not actively seeking it out.

But make no mistake, harmful content still readily available when a child grows older and decides they want to explore beyond set boundaries.  Social media has also presented new problems with increased opportunity for online predators, cyberbullying, and content hidden from parents within social media accounts.

Connection between internet users is now instant and often undetected.  This is where parental controls are essential for monitoring.  The younger the age of a child online, the more pervasive these monitoring controls need to protect kids.  Once they see anything it can’t be unseen. 

So with that being said, here are few tips to encourage online safety for kids when surfing the world wide web whether at home or in school.

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

  • Do not replace parental or teacher supervision of computer use at home or at school with our safe search engine or any other. No search filtering tool is perfect, especially outside of a software application.  We’ll explore that option momentarily.
  • A good rule of thumb is to not allow internet use when a child is home alone without proper supervision, even with our safe search kids search engine.
  • Keep your computer in an open area. If your computer is in a home office, make a rule that doors are always left open when online.
  • Educate yourself on how to stay safe when using social media and have open discussions with teens about present dangers and long term effects of inappropriate conduct, including the dangers associated with posting pictures online.
  • It’s not a good idea to allow computers or laptops in your kids bedrooms, even while using our free internet filter, unless they are close to the main area of the house such as the kitchen or living room with doors left open.
  • Do not allow internet use after you’ve gone to bed at night no matter how good your computer security software is or how confident you are in kids search engines.
  • As alluded to above, software can provide better web filtering to strengthen internet safety for kids.  Consider installing parental controls to give you complete control over how your children access the internet.

What to Teach Kids About Internet Safety

With the rise in identity theft it’s important recognize that it’s not only adults that can be a target. Here are some tips that kids should know to protect themselves today, and as they grow older.

Do not give out personal information about yourself online without your parent’s permission. This includes your name, where you live or your telephone number.

Never to agree to meet someone that you have met online. If you do not know the person in ‘real life’, tell your parents about anyone that is asking to meet you.

Talk to your parents first about pictures you want to post online, whether they be of yourself or your friends and family members.

Do not respond to messages you receive that are mean or speaking meanly about others. Tell your parents about these messages.  Learn what you can do if you are a victim of online bullying.

Do not give out any of your passwords to friends or anyone you meet online.

Check with your parents first before downloading or installing any software on your computer. Do not allow file sharing programs to be installed on your computer. Only use safe and secure music download programs from trusted sources on the internet.

Always be kind of others online. Do not do anything that may hurt others including joining in conversations discussing other people’s problems.

Be careful about discussing details about your own personal problems with your friends online. It is better to speak to them in person. Tell your parents or teacher if you are struggling with something.

Learn common sense social media safety tips you can put into practice today.

Ensure privacy settings on activated on all of social media websites you use.

Remember that the rules for internet safety for kids also apply to texting on your phone.

Agree to computer rules set up by your parents, teachers or guardians. With freedom and trust comes the expectation that you will act responsibly.

Internet Safety for Kids

Parental Controls for Internet Safety

Parents have always tried to protect their children from exposure to inappropriate content. Content filters are the oldest form of parental controls. These tools allow parents to block websites, videos, music, games, apps, and other media. Some content filters even allow parents to monitor what their child watches on TV.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of companies offering similar services. Many of them offer free trials, which allows parents to try out the service before purchasing it. There are many different types of content filters available today. Some are designed to block all content while others are designed to filter certain types of content. For example, a parent might choose to block all adult content while allowing educational sites to pass through.

Set up parental controls on phones

While there are many apps designed to keep kids safe while they’re using the web, parents should also consider installing parental controls for other devices in the home. These tools allow parents to set restrictions on how long their child can use the device, which websites they can visit, and whether they can access specific features.

If you’ve got an Android device, you can easily set up parental controls by downloading the Google Play Protect app. This free app scans your device for malware and other threats, then gives you recommendations on how to protect your data. You can also download the Family Link app, which allows you to share your account with family members so they can manage their own accounts as well.

Block apps from accessing the internet

With these two tools, you can block apps from accessing the internet, preventing them from accessing any websites. You’ll need to do this manually each time you use the app, though. And example of blocking apps is a social media platform you don’t want your kids to access.  Some social media sites are innocent enough and you’ll want to monitor them.  Others may have content you will need to keep a closer eye on.

Prevent your child from sharing personal information

You can also use parental controls to block apps that contain potentially dangerous features. For example, some games allow players to share personal information with other users. This includes things like your name, address, phone number, and email address.

Restrict access to websites

If you’re worried about your child’s exposure to inappropriate content, you can restrict access to certain websites by using parental controls. These controls allow parents to set up filters that prevent their children from viewing certain sites.  YouTube parental controls are good example of a site that may have educational content, but parents wants to ensure there are restrictions on less appropriate videos.

Monitor your child’s activity.

If you’re worried about your child’s activities online, you can monitor their device using a parental control app. These apps will let you view everything your child does on their phone, tablet, or computer. You’ll be able to see who they’re talking to, where they’ve been, and what they’re doing.

Internet Filtering Solutions

Internet Accountability: The Covenant Eyes Filter provides the following options:  Decide the times of day the Internet may be used, and how much time per day or per week the Internet may be surfed under each username. Choose whether to block or to allow specific websites specific to each username.  This software can be used to help block instant messaging, file sharing, and other protocols. The basic Covenant Eyes Accountability feature teaches safe browsing habits. Just knowing that an extra set of eyes in watching, encourages your family members to be responsible when surfing the internet.

For complete control, especially for younger children or for those times you are not available to monitor computer activity, ensure internet safety for kids using installations that block access to inappropriate content online.  These solutions will come in the form of an app for mobile devices or software for computers and lap tops.

Internet safety for kids should be the first priority of any parent or guardian when seeking protection of children online. It certainly can be a balance to juggle freedom on the internet with a safe level of online restrictions. Implement safe search using a kids search engine along with a filtering software program. Safe Search for Kids is designed to work hand in hand with supervision by parents and educators.

Learn how to ensure you are visiting a secure website in this video:

Share This Article
Google Safe Search Explore the Safe Search Engine - Google for Kids