BusinessDay

How to protect your child from adult content online

A video recently surfaced online showing people believed to be pupils of Chrisland Schools indulging in sexual activities. The video elicited a lot of comments from internet users.

Many, including one of the parents of the children in the video who made a follow-up video to explain her side of the story, made some allusions to the harm done by children’s exposure to adult content online.  Also, one question that kept coming up among commenters on the video is; how can children be protected from adult content online.

Here are five ways to protect your children from adult content online:

Install Google family link app on your mobile phone and connect with your child’s device

Parents who find it compulsory to purchase a smartphone device for their minor should ensure they install the Google family link app on their phone and update it with the Gmail and age of the child.

Google Family Link is a family parental controls service that allows parents to adjust parameters for their children’s devices. The app allows parents to restrict content, approve or disapprove apps, set screen times and a lot more.

However, the email is attached while creating a Google account for them on the new device and providing their correct date of birth after the process, you proceed to install the Google Family Link on your own device, adding his or her registered e-mail.

When her device is linked to the App, you will get a notification that allows them to activate the device and after the process, adult contents will be unable to load on their device and the child cannot install any adult application without your permission.

The Google link also allows parents to set a start and stop time for the kid which automatically locks the device once exceeded and allows parents to check how long a child has stayed online.

Limit (social) media time for children

It is not unusual to see children stuck to their devices for a long time, doing little other activities. While it may not look harmful at face value, experts say it is very dangerous, even for the child’s health. Parents are therefore advised to encourage non-media activities and games for children to cut time spent online.

Parents are also advised to be wary of movies, television and radio programmes.

Read also: How to protect yourself from online fraudster

Educate children on the risk of social media

The importance of frank discussions about these topics can not be overemphasized. Parents need to discuss the risk associated with the internet with their children. Specifically pointing out the dangers associated with watching adult-rated material online and what to do if such comes up are also important in preventing sad consequences.

Delay gifting the child a smartphone 

This tip is one of the easiest ways to prevent children from inappropriate online content which parents find difficult to follow.

As Parents, granting children the access to own a smartphone at an inappropriate age poses a huge threat.  The child’s maturity at the time of first exposure matters a lot in what happens thereafter.

 Parents can provide a cell phone for only calls for their children but should allow them to reach a certain age before granting them access to a smartphone.

Stay updated with new ways to stay safe online

The digital world keeps changing and evolving daily and innovative approaches keep coming and it is a parental obligation to keep searching for easy ways to keep children from accessing harmful content online. Apps like Netnanny, Kidslox, Circle with Disney, Webwatcher and family products from antivirus providers can also be of help.

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