The Internet is a huge database. It stores a lot of information which can be read and used by all of us. Some content is not appropriate for children, we call it “Adult content”. On the Internet, websites featuring pornography or other content which you don’t want your children to see are just one click away. Children can also be exposed to adult content via links sent to them through an email or chat.
Here are few tips which parents need to implement to prevent their children from watching adult content on the internet:
- Install blocking, filtering, and monitoring software in order to block pop-ups, restrict access to sites with adult content and see which sites your child visits.
- Discuss your family values with your child and be clear about what he needs to watch on the internet. Have open conversations about adult content online and explain your child about your thoughts on pornography.
- Set rules on usage of internet and social media website. Example: time period for which he can be online, which website he will register, ensure that the age limits are followed diligently. Learn about the warning signs of trouble like disruption of daily schedule, meals, studies drop in grades. Make sure that everyone in your family follows the rules seriously.
- Ask regularly: “Have you used the computer and the Internet today? Share a bit about your daily Social Media activity, use it in a way to facilitate daily conversation about your child online habits.
- Keep the computer in a public area of your home, such as the living room, so that you can check on what your child is doing online and how much time he is spending there.
- Make sure that your child is not viewing appropriate pages by looking at the Internet browser’s history or make sure they are not deleting the history to hide what they are viewing. Look at the browser address bar or location bar for additional information about what was typed in the browser address bar.
- Encourage your child to come to you or another trusted adult if he or she encounters inappropriate material. They might encounter an adult content unknowingly too
- Parental controls and adult content filters can be fairly complex, and are not always 100% effective. If you feel your child has an addiction to pornography it will take more than filters to work through it. You need to have a proper discussion with him. If required, see a specialist counsellor to help you and your teen.
- The simplest way to restrict adult content is to make one device child-friendly and other sure all other devices are not accessible by your child.
- When you find out that your child has seen pornography, keep calm. Understand that teens will have a natural curiosity about nudity and sex.
Here are some options which you can use to filter adult content. But remember any apps that contain adult content like Facebook, Tumblr, Vine and Instagram will not be protected by safe search set up on Browsers:
OpenDNS has a free adult content filter, where you can restrict adult sites. It can be set up on a computer though setting the D.N.S settings to OpenDNS, or you can set up your home internet modem so that it covers all devices connected to the Wi-Fi. Instructions are all on the OpenDNS website. However, OpenDNS does not filter adult content that can be found through Google images. OpenDNS will prevent your child from accessing some adult sites, but won’t hide some pornographic images.
To set up Google safe search simply navigate to http://www.google.com/preferences and tick (enable) “Turn On Safe Search” It’s also best to Lock the Safe Search setting on also by clicking “Lock Safe Search” you will then be asked to log into your Google Account to enable locking. If locking it doesn’t work, make sure you have cookies enabled in your search engines preferences.You can also set safe search preferences on Bing.com and Yahoo.com
There are other softwares that can help you to monitor child’s internet activity like Netnanny and K9 web protection.
Happy Surfing! Happy Parenting!
Take Care 🙂
PS: Visit www.wisenetizen.com and use free resources for educating your child about #cybersafety.