Nowadays, it’s becoming more and more important to pay attention to what your children are doing. There are miscreants everywhere – including the Internet. With the new Momo Internet “challenge”, it’s getting more and more difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to protecting your children.
First off, let’s clear the air…
The Momo challenge / suicide game seems to be mainly a hoax – however, with social media that has covered it going viral, it has gained a certain momentum (please see the following coverage: CNN and Snopes). This challenge reiterates the need for some basic common sense activities you can do to protect your child online.
- Be involved – be interested in what your child is doing online. Pay attention to the sites that are being visited and even what games are being played. Sit with your child and surf the internet with them – although viewing Barbie web sites may not be the most exciting thing to do, just being involved and guiding your child can be very important. Online gaming poses a risk as a lot of the games now are multiplayer. With voice disguising options available, the friend they are playing with online may not be 10 years old… They may be 30!
- Follow them on social media – One of the most simple things to do is (and playing part of the aforementioned being involved) follow your children on social media! See what their up to and who their friends are – and if something doesn’t seem right, discuss it with them.
- Limit their internet usage – There are many options available for you to limit the time spent on the internet by your children. Even your router may have options to disallow internet access to certain devices during certain times.
- Turn on Google SafeSearch – by turning on the Google SafeSearch option, you can filter explicit web sites so your child doesn’t inadvertently see something they shouldn’t. You can view this article to see how to turn it on or off.
- Consider filtering software – Directly on the device your children are using, you can install software that will protect them. Software like Qustodio, NetNanny, or CyberSitter can provide excellent protection across a multitude of devices.
- Help them understand privacy – Once your child is older, educate them on the importance of privacy. Simple things like not telling friends you’ve only met online your address, etc. can help quite a bit. Also explain, that things posted on the Internet can stay there for a long time – perhaps demonstrate the Internet Wayback machine.
By doing some of the above steps, you can go a long way to protecting your children.
Finally, here are a couple of resources to help with protecting children online:
Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us as we can provide some insight on internet security.