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How To Protect Your Children While They’re Online

Posted on 2020-07-20 11:53:41



One of the greatest adjustments parents have had to make during the New Normal is that children are spending a great deal more time than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic. In general, even during the school year, many children will be studying on computers from home. In addition, they'll be spending time on their favorite electronic devices to play games and watch Youtube videos.

Waking early to sneak in a couple hours of Minecraft, Roblox, YouTube or Xbox…grabbing their ‘educational’ iPad and Facetiming a friend…sending emails and texts…it’s open season during this extraordinary period!

Not just the younger children, but teenagers too. And they may be using the computer you set aside for work to surf the Internet. 

Kids may or may not intentionally find themselves viewing inappropriate content on your work computer. In many instances, those sort of websites may have malware that automatically downloads onto your business computer and worms its way onto the company network. Once malware is on the business network, it is often programmed to search out other computers in the company to infect. Infections can lead to the theft of valuable information from the workstations or to ransomware. Ransomware is an incredibly effective way for hackers to lock users out of their computers until the company pays a ransom to criminals. 

To be honest, as an adult, we really have no idea what’s cool or what they’ve been introduced to through Tik Tok or Youtube or Instagram. They’re digital natives and use it in ways we would never dream of.

Blind Trust

All we know is that they’re going to use their devices and we won’t be able to watch them every second of the day. Plus of course, no matter how many Cyber-Safety talks they’ve had, how many times they can parrot the rules back, they’re children and they don’t always stop to think.

 

- They don’t realize certain search terms might not be such a great idea

- They trust they are messaging other children

- And they would rather not limit themselves to two hours of play a day

Parental Control Software

A Parental Control Software (PCS) package is essentially an internet filter for children. It takes all the icky, inappropriate content online and blocks your child from accessing it, seeing it, or even knowing it exists.

Adults can override and disable the software easily, so a parents' experiences on the internet are unchanged and unmonitored.

“Net Nanny” and “K9 Web Protection” are two very well-known and reliable software options to help parents protect their children from the vagaries of the Internet.

As an added bonus, Parental Control Software can also be used to put time limits on internet usage. It can even log all online activity so parents can see what their children have been viewing. While you may not feel the need to review the logs on a daily basis, they can be vital in identifying cyber bullying, sexting, or inappropriate relationships. Parents around the world credit these logs with saving their child’s mental health, and occasionally, their life.

Another benefit of PCS is that it can provide parents with real-time alerts when their children stumble into (or intentionally display) inappropriate content. It's better to discover at the moment of a child's encounter with potentially damaging material than to find out after the fact that content that does not have a child's best intentions at heart has found a way through filters you have set up. The reality, though, is that the Internet is a universe that is intentionally difficult to police all the time: websites and apps exist that malevolent developers have created to evade detection until it's too late for children.

The best time to install Parental Control Software is now, before your children become comfortable with unrestricted access, and before they see things they shouldn’t.

 

Contact Sound IT at (425) 654-2502 or drop by our office to learn how our Managed IT service can protect your children from inappropriate and possibly damaging content on the Internet. Our office is at 610 Main St., Suite B, in downtown Edmonds.