Over the last few months JR, that little dude in the picture above, has been getting more and more interested in technology – be it a camera, phone, laptop, ipad, tablet or the smart whiteboard thingy at his school.
One of his favourite pastimes over the summer holiday was to watch toy reviews on YouTube to see what he’d like to ask the birthday fairies and Santa for. It’s become more apparent that I need to start thinking about parental controls and settings so that he can safely browse the net.
He has not yet turned five, so one thing I know I need not to worry about just yet is social media. However, what I do worry about is the increasing number of children taking smartphones to school! I am a bit concerned that older friends or acquaintances may not be aware of what to show younger children on the internet and what not to show them.
When JR had his first day at school last week, I used my phone, logged into the schools open Wi-Fi network, and tried to check my twitter stream, which I could not do as Twitter was blocked. I then tried YouTube, Facebook and Tumblr all had the same outcome – blocked much to my satisfaction! Whilst I know this won’t stop them accessing it through a 3G signal, hopefully it should deter it.
Once I got home, I started thinking about our own internet security and controls. As a home that has two smartphones, a laptop, and two tablets; our internet security is getting more important, especially as the tiny three′s generation can seemingly operate it all straight from birth.
There are a lot of great tools and articles online discussing internet safety as well as how to have THE talk – the internet talk, with them! It’s definitely worth having a read through these if you’ve not yet introduced your child to computing yet. This article on PC advisors has some very comprehensive tips on the issue as well as detailing how to block certain websites, if you’re interested.
In terms of software it might be worth looking into the free Norton Family software which allows you to set time limits on their browsing time, not to mention the time of day they can browse or the day of the week so that the web doesn’t come in the way of family time. They’ve also got a premium version if you’ve got more computing devices or require more comprehensive reports on your child’s browsing activity.
I for one have had my eyes opened a lot wider in the last few weeks, how about you, how will you talk to your kids about online safety, and ensure they are safe at all times?
*This is a PR Collaboration*