When I was young I wanted a phone simply for games that were already on the phone. In the good old days there was no need for WIFI so that I could download games. When it comes to digital technology, children are not left behind. Education, games and entertainment is also part of the internet. Understandably most parents are frantic when it comes to their children on the net. We are raising a generation of children who perhaps at times know a bit too much from the net than we would want them to. As soon as you accept that your 5 year old would rather play games on your tab than play with mud the better. But in this dilemma, you as a parent or guardian can still protect your children with the following tips.
1.Talk to them about online safety: There is nothing worse than a child who discovers information from strangers than you. It is a fact that as soon as your child can talk the sooner they will be in the digital world. According to research children and young people spend an average of 12 hours a week online. This means that whether you like it or not the digital life is part of your children’s daily life. Talk to them about online safety and explain to them why they are restricted from getting on certain online platforms.
2.Set separate apps for them: Depending on your child’s age it is better to let them tell you which games they want then you download it for them. Always try to understand what your child needs from the internet before allowing them to proceed with anything. This way you can monitor their interests and ensure online safety.
3.Supervise your child: It is usually better that your child uses your gadgets to connect to the internet as you can check the history afterwards. If your child owns a gadget then make him or her understand that they should not have a password. Their devices should also be used around you just in case you would like to check on their activities.
4.Use parental control: This is one of the most effective ways of ensuring online safety. In Kenya, Local Internet Service providers such as Wanachi online and Access Kenya provide control that helps you filter or restrict content. Most devices have a parental control that gives you the options of even putting passwords. This will not only help you monitor your child’s activity online but you’d have made it clear on what they can actually do online.
5.Social media safety: Depending on your rules as a parent the decision as to whether your child can be on social network is entirely up to you. You should come to an agreement with your child as to how they will be on social media. They can either use your profiles to engage with their friends or have an account that you would have set up and can have access to. Also strongly advice your children not to talk to strangers and be very strict on who their friends are on social media.