Parenting Dilemma – How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online When Filters Don’t Work?
We all know much of the internet is a wonderful resource for children, whether it’s Wikipedia, YouTube tutorials for helping with schoolwork, or brain games, social platforms and infotainment to improve learning. However, there are numerous websites that you certainly don’t want them going anywhere near. One of the greatest challenges parents are facing these days is how to keep their kids safe online.
With so many teenagers having smartphones, tablets and or PCs of their own, it’s increasingly difficult to perceive what content they are accessing and who they are mingling within the virtual world. A study of 12- to 15-year-old children conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) divulged that of 515 interviewed, 14% said they had a negative online experience in the past, 8% were contacted by strangers, about 4% had seen people who were pretending to be them online, 2% has come across sexual content that made them feel uneasy, and 3% had witnessed something that scared them.
A wide majority (90%) of the parents either have no clue what parental controls were, or they were simply not using them. And those who were using parental filters were at risk of viewing the wrong sort of content or information. Reports have indicated time and again filters could be returning false-positives making them ill-informed or more vulnerable than before they read the information. How? Here are a few instances that will explain to you why relying on parental controls is not a good idea.
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- Risks Associated With Online Gaming
While much of the focus tends to revolve around the issues kids can encounter on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat (all these sites require account holders to be at least 13 years old), a recent study from Kaspersky Labs has shown online gaming is a big concern now.
In a survey of 11-16-year-olds, Kaspersky found that 38% of adolescents had run into people pretending to be someone else on gaming platforms, while 23% had been asked suspicious personal or personal questions while they were online. However, the most worrying sign though was that 20% of the kids interviewed during the survey said they trusted the gaming platform so much that they won’t mind meeting contacts from it in the real world. What’s even more alarming is that almost 33% of the respondents in the survey said their parents had no clue who they talked to when they played online games.
- Perils of Using Mobile Applications
Although parental controls enable parents to block adult content that their child can access on an app store, it won’t cease them from buying apps, streaming games or videos. Furthermore, setting the specific age viewing content with the help of filters from the drop down menu means your 13-year-old can watch a PG-13 content but a 12-year-old won’t.
- YouTube Has Its Own Drawback
Consuming huge amount of videos on the website is a huge drawback for young users. Though YouTube has launched a free kids’ app called Youtube Kids for iOS and Android devices lately that uses a simple algorithm to filter search results, it isn’t an ideal solution. Furthermore, this version is not compatible with the web browser.
Having said that, Google has provided a safe mode option that allows users to cover any instance of the website when they log in with the same account. All you need to do is navigate to the site on your PC, scroll to the bottom, and click on the ‘Safety’ feature. Again, after going through such a long process it’s not guaranteed that your kid will be safe online when using this app.
- So What’s An Ideal Solution?
The current generation has grown up with the internet and has no idea of what life was like without it. When it comes to technology they feel completely at home. They tend to learn using a mouse or touchscreen to navigate way before they can even read or write. Certainly, using a touchscreen or mouse is as much a life skill as acquainting yourself with the art of reading and writing, but it’s important to keep children safe when using social media, browsing websites or chatting with friends via instant messaging programs.
Because it’s parents’ responsibility to ensure their young ones are protected from the parts of the web that pose any danger to them. The danger may sound bad, but the good news is Android monitoring software can help parents prevent most of them without draining too much time, effort and money.
- How Can An Android Monitoring Aid Parents?
Apps like XNSPY android monitoring software aid you to keep tabs on their children’s online activities by giving them access to their web browsing history, instant messaging apps, social media accounts, set of apps installed on their devices and lot more. Additionally, you can manage the screen time by remotely controlling the device. In case, you feel that your kid isn’t following the rules you have established for cell phone, you can always take the screenshots as proof, lock their cell phone, and wipe the inappropriate data with the monitoring app.
You can even set watch list alerts by adding suspicious words or phrases and receive instant notifications on activities related to specific locations and contacts. Even though monitoring apps have limitations as some of them can record calls or surroundings for 30 minutes max, but since the prices are affordable and they won’t keep you completely in the dark like parental controls, therefore, a high percentage of parents approve of this solution.
This article was written by an anonymous guest.