The internet plays a significant role in nearly every aspect of daily life. Therefore, children need to know how to use it effectively for school, work, and play. However, teens aren’t born knowing the right and wrong ways to interact online. You wouldn’t let your child wander out of the house, crossing streets and navigating the world at large, without any preparation. The internet is no different. While the social connections may be digital, they can have real consequences if you don’t take the right precautions.
If you’re concerned about how to protect teens online, the first step is to educate yourself about the apps and sites your child may be using. Then, you should make sure you’re knowledgeable about the best methods to use in online interactions. Finally, you must have open and honest conversations with your teen so that they’re well-informed about the dangers that are present online. In addition to open communication, it’s crucial to monitor your child’s online activities frequently to ensure they are being cautious.
Let’s take a closer look at a few simple tips for helping your teens stay safe online.
Five Tips for Monitoring Your Child’s Online Activities
Unfortunately, the digital space is full of threats – and can be quite dangerous for unsuspecting teens and children. Luckily, by following these actionable tips, you can enhance your child’s online safety.
- Use Internet Monitoring Apps – A variety of devices (including laptops, tablets, and smartphones) come with parental control tools that allow you to keep an eye on your child’s activity. Additionally, there are many applications available for download that provide monitoring services.
- Talk to Teens About What They’re Sharing – Today’s teens are highly active on a variety of social media platforms. However, many underestimate the ramifications of their online actions. Therefore, it’s important to teach your child about what is and isn’t appropriate to share online. This conversation should include topics like cyberbullying, gossiping, sexting, and sharing personal information.
- Restrict Websites and Apps – There are some websites and apps that are simply not safe for children or teens to use. To ensure your child stays away from malicious or inappropriate sites, consider investing in a parental control service that allows you to block access to certain web addresses.
- Make Sure You Understand the Apps They Are Using – Today, teens adopt and learn various forms of technology at an alarming rate. This can often prove difficult for parents who struggle to keep up with the latest apps, platforms, and devices. To make sure you and your teen are on the same page, check the apps they’re using and do a bit of research about each one. You might even want to download the application and teach yourself how to use it. This will help you pinpoint any dangers and determine whether or not it should be restricted.
- Set Time Limits for Internet Use – Many people of all ages have their eyes glued to a device for the majority of the day. However, this is far from healthy. Therefore, you should limit how much time your teen is allowed to spend on smartphones, computers, and other devices. For example, you might implement rules, such as having them turn over their cellphone before bedtime and not allowing devices at the dinner table.
Use Conversations About Online Interactions for Other Important Life Lessons
As online interactions become more and more common, the line between the digital and real world will undoubtedly begin to blur. Therefore, it’s beneficial to use conversations about internet safety to teach other essential life skills.
Here are some lessons to keep in mind for your child – and anyone else who communicates online:
- The Golden Rule Applies – The old saying, “treat people the way you want to be treated,” is still good advice. Online interactions often take a higher priority for teens than real world situations because it’s a public stage – which can either be rewarding or humiliating. Teach your teen that they should be kind to everyone online, just as they would in person.
- Give Them Your Support – Online bullying is rampant, and even small issues can get blown out of proportion quickly. Make sure your teen knows that they can go to you if they have any problems online.
- Make Sure They Know That Everything They Post Is Monitored – Everything you do online, from social media posts to private messages, can come back to haunt you. Therefore, you must educate your child about the permanency of the digital space – and the potential consequences that come with this. For example, they should learn early on that future employers may examine their social accounts during the hiring process. If they’ve posted something inappropriate in the past, it may cause them to lose out on the job.
Seek Help from the Computer Experts at NerdsToGo
As a parent, you want your teen to remain safe everywhere they go – including online. However, because the digital world is vast and advances so quickly, it can be hard to make the best decisions for your children’s safety. Luckily, NerdsToGo is here to assist you. Our Nerds can help you craft an effective online safety plan for your child. We’ll walk you through the latest internet monitoring apps, parental controls, and more so you can protect your teen from the dangers that exist in the digital world.
For more information about our expert computer services schedule an appointment, contact us today!