How Much Access Should Your Kids Have To The Internet?

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Nowadays, it feels like the internet plays a role in almost every facet of life. We’re all connected to a resource that allows us to communicate across the globe, to access more information than we could ever contain, and to entertain ourselves endlessly. However, it’s not always the friendliest or safest place for children. So, how much access do you let your kids have, and how do you control what they can and cannot see? Here are a few points to consider.

Putting up safety nets

The first concern for a lot of parents is the sheer amount of inappropriate and adult websites and social media accounts that are on the internet. As such, if you want to make sure that your child isn’t coming across anything pornographic, violent, or otherwise not fit for their consumption, then there are plenty of parental control apps that you can install onto your devices that contain things like databases of sites that are deemed inappropriate, with the ability to customize them as you like.

Minding the content they engage

Not only should you ensure that your child is not engaging with anything that’s inappropriate to them, but you might want to make sure that they’re watching and engaging with content that has some actual value for them, as well. For instance, you can find sites that provide movies the whole family can watch, with actual ethical lessons and no content that might influence your child’s thinking in a way that they might be too young to grapple with. As a parent, it’s not just about keeping them protected from things that might be harmful, you want their experiences online to actively shape them for the better.

Protecting them online

Setting up boundaries to what they can and can’t access is all well and good, but simply shielding your children isn’t enough. You have to educate them about the dangers that they might face online, as well. If they’re connecting with other people, then you have to teach them about the basics of not giving any personal information, about being skeptical of the identities of those they’re talking to online, as well as how to recognize and avoid things like phishing scams. Go through some basic internet safety tips for kids in detail with them.

Giving them access

Allowing your child to make use of the internet is one thing, be it on a shared laptop, desktop, smart TV, or game console. If they have their own independent device that allows them free use of the net, however, such as if you give them a smartphone, then you should ensure that not only are you following the tips above but that you’re monitoring their use to ensure that they’re staying within your guidelines. Until they are old enough to be trusted with that kind of independence, parents should not feel conflicted about ensuring their child’s safety takes priority over their online privacy. 

At this point, unless you’re going to divorce your household from digital technology entirely, it’s pretty much a guarantee your child will be online at some point as a parent, it’s your job to educate them and to guide them towards usage of the net that’s appropriate and safe for them.


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