The internet is loaded with a large number of data and information, suitable for people of all ages and it is open for them to see, investigate and explore. You could say that, to some extent, that is beneficial that the information they need is available instantly, but having this much access to all kinds of information is particularly dangerous. Especially for young children, under the age of 18. There is also plenty of information on the internet that isn’t suitable for children and their parents or guardians need to have strict control over what they are viewing on the internet.
As a result, there are many programs in places that allow you, as a parent or guardian, to be able to minimize your children’s screen time. Even the internet service providers, who deliver the internet connection to your home, have felt the need for restricting children’s access to the information available on the internet. For instance, if you subscribe to Comcast Xfinity internet service, you have the option of managing the content being accessed through your network connection. Dial the Xfinity phone number to learn how that should be possible.
The settings available on most devices for managing the content being viewed on the internet by said devices are often under the guise of parental control. You can also use such settings to monitor the kind of activities your children perform over the internet. This monitoring and limiting of content are just to keep your children from accessing information that is not age-appropriate. Just enable it to block their access to specific websites or limit content on specific platforms.
Following are some of the things you can try, as a parent or guardian;
- The most basic thing you can try is enabling password protection on the computer or other electronic devices so that your child doesn’t access the device whenever they want to. These passwords are only accessible to you or any other adult so that you can decide when it is the appropriate time for them to access these devices. This password-protection feature might also be crucial in situations where parents or other adults are not present.
- You can also inquire with your internet service provider about any filtering software that you can use to review what kind of content your child will have access to on the internet.
- Your child might also have social media accounts to stay in touch with their school friends. That is nice because they should also be allowed the space to grow and communicate with people outside their homes. However, many social media platforms allow you, as a parent or guardian, to gain access to your child’s social media so that you can monitor their online activities.
- Moreover, you can set up the computer or TV in an area in your home that is mostly crowded and used by everyone. That way you can directly supervise what kind of content your child is viewing on their devices.
Things You Need To Look Out For As a Parent or Guardian
- You also need to monitor what your child is posting on their social media accounts i.e. if it is personal information or private photos, you can prevent them from posting so as not to attract online predators.
- These online predators can also pose as kids and start chatting with your child on instant messaging apps or chat rooms, and your child will be too oblivious to know who is on the other side of the screen.
- Conversations in public chatrooms or discussions in forums are mostly inappropriate since many users are in their 20s and 30s or above.
- Also look out for video chat rooms, which can at first seem like a friendly way of meeting strangers, but it is often a penchant for inappropriate online activities.
- Lastly, you also need to check on YouTube. Sure, it is a mostly informational website, where your child will find a variety of content to cater to their growth. But YouTube is accessible to users of all ages and anyone can post any kind of video content.
Final Thoughts: Should Children Be Allowed to Access the Internet?
Although most of the content available on the internet isn’t age-appropriate for your children, they shouldn’t completely be restricted from accessing the internet altogether. Because children can’t tell appropriate content from inappropriate ones, it is up to you, as a parent or guardian, to be able to manage and control what kind of content they can access on the internet. Most programs have parental control features now, which is basically to make parenting jobs easy for you!