With the arrival of the long-awaited vacation, children want to enjoy their free time to rest and have fun. This is absolutely normal, but the parents’ concern is how to see what my kid is doing online and what resources their child will use to keep themselves entertained during the holidays. This concern is due to children’s preference for the internet.
Keeping their children safe on the internet is any parent’s first goal. Today, children are bombarded with technology and have very premature access to a world of information that they are not always able to handle due to their age and maturity.
It is not possible to hide your head in the sand. It would be anachronistic to think not to give kids a smartphone or tablet to try, or to keep them away from any kind of technology. According to recent research, 16% of children aged 3 to 4 have their own tablet. And the average time spent daily in front of a screen for children aged 5 to 7 is 4.30 hours. Online there are many aids to protect children on the web, such as filters , software that allow for peaceful browsing and a parent’s selection of what children can or cannot see on the Internet.
Instead of mixing free time between games, walks and the internet, many children prefer to spend their holidays in front of the computer or with the smartphone. In addition to being harmful to health, as little ones move little, excessive internet use can bring other problems, such as social exclusion and anxiety. Not to mention that access to inappropriate content for the age group of children is another point of alert for parents.
Dialogue and awareness are the best weapons
However, before discovering which apps are most useful for this purpose, it would be advisable to talk to your children, and gradually make them understand how the Web works and what are the possible threats, without instilling fears or, on the contrary, minimizing the risks . If you do not have adequate knowledge, it might be useful to get help from someone who has more knowledge on the subject, but also to read something first from authoritative sites. Here are some examples:
- Safety of children and minors on the internet: the key tips
- Talk to children about the Internet
- Safe and child-aware browsing on the internet
Maintaining an open dialogue with them, discussing which services they usually use online and advising them on how to behave while using the Internet are actions that can have greater effects than a simple antivirus or parental control. In particular, minors should pay attention to:
- social networks (for example Facebook, Instagram or TikTik), very popular among the very young but potential threats to privacy and contact with strangers;
- chat and messaging services (such as WhatsApp, Messenger and Telegram), also services in which malicious people could hide;
- links received on chats or emails from unknown senders: this trick is often used to activate malware, spyware or to spread content that is not suitable for children;
- sites with content not suitable for minors ;
- friend requests on social networks or on chat / videochat services from unknown users;
- services involving “in-app” purchases.
The list may still be long, but keeping children alert to these first points is already a great place to start.
Parental Control Apps: what it means
“Parental Control” usually means a software filter that parents can configure to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content online, using unsuitable apps, etc…. Often it is already integrated on some devices (for example on modems) or in the operating systems of computers / smartphones. However, you can always install third party apps that can track your child phone.
There are also Parental Control apps and programs that can be downloaded directly from the Android and iOS stores or from the PC and Mac marketplaces . In the next paragraphs we will point out some of these services, completely free and very easy to use, even if you have never used one.
If this is a concern of your family this vacation, be sure to check the following article until the end, as we have gathered 3 tips on how to monitor children on the internet during school holidays. Check out!
1. Create combinations with the child
The best way to monitor internet usage while on vacation is to set up with the kids together. In them, parents must present schedules during the day so that the child can use the internet, for example, from 10 am to 11 am and after 4 pm to 5 pm. Staying on the cell phone during family outings or at meals are situations that can reduce internet access at pre-established times.
Thus, the child himself will police himself not to use the internet out of hours, as this will lead to “punishments”. With reduced access, children will have less free time to browse content inappropriate for their age.
2. Know the apps used by your child
With the success of social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, it is quite common for children to want to participate earlier and earlier in this universe. But parents need to be careful. Before allowing entry into these networks, it is essential that the family knows the functionalities of each one of them.
Facebook is widely used by parents, but Snapchat, for example, has a predominantly young audience. Therefore, it is worth researching these apps to know how to monitor your children during the holidays and after that period as well. After the child has created their profile, it is important to know the friends they follow and also their behavior on the network. This monitoring is essential for the child to use these resources in a healthy and safe way.
3. Bedtime is for sleep!
A common habit of children, especially on vacation, is to leave the smartphone on the nightstand and, whenever the device rings, the child checks the messages. This behavior can affect the sleep of the young person, who will go to sleep much later during the holidays. Not to mention that sleepless nights at this stage end up harming the child’s development.
The tip is for parents to take the child’s smartphone when they go to bed, preventing distraction from harming sleep. In addition, during the night, the child will not have parental monitoring and this may lead to accessing non-recommended content.
Today, we present three tips on how to monitor children on the internet while on vacation. It is important to point out that these measures are not an invasion of privacy, but care that parents need to take with their young children, since the internet offers diverse content that is not always appropriate for children.
Take advantage of the fact that you are expanding your knowledge on the subject and also see on our blog the post that shows how social networks and the school can be allies in the student education process.
The Internet is an increasingly rooted medium in our daily life, through which it is possible to access a myriad of sites and services, from newspapers to gaming platforms, from streaming to apps for chat and video calls. With this tool, we can work, play, stay in touch with friends and work colleagues, buy products, etc … However, like any other service, even the Web has its dark sides, hides pitfalls that put personal data at risk and, in more extreme cases, even the very safety of people.