Monitoring Your Children’s Browsing Online

November 30, 2017

The internet can be a dangerous place, even for the most experienced technology users. A wrong turn may lead to a phishing website or a piece of malware designed to steal valuable personal information. The fact that so many mundane daily tasks are carried out online should not obscure the scams and risks out there.

Today's kids, who have grown up with online access at their fingertips through computers and mobile devices alike, may not be aware of just how great risks are. If you're a parent, this fact is likely very concerning. What can you do to monitor your kids' browsing habits and ensure they don't perform unsafe activities or fall into the traps set by cybercriminals?

Online monitoring practices to protect your kids

While it may feel invasive to monitor your children's online activities after a certain age, this could be the primary way to make sure they are using good sense when browsing online. The following are a few concepts you can put in practice to help protect your family doesn't from losing personal information.

  • Combine tech and talk: While your first step to monitor your family's internet usage may be purchasing and installing software or subscribing to online services, accompany these moves with discussions. According to BBC columnist Mark Ward, you should be speaking with your kids about what they should do online - use good password practices, watch out for phishing - and why they should stick to these safe approaches. This shows that you respect them as individuals and will ultimately help protect their information, as they'll be thinking about protecting it rather than just feeling boxed in by software locks.
  • Work with common software: Extremely common pieces of computer software, such as the Microsoft Windows operating system and Google Chrome browser, have their own built-in modes designed to keep an eye on children while they browse. According to Tech Advisor, these systems have real value for users who bother to activate them. For example, Chrome allows you to create Supervised User accounts for young children. These allow you to restrict access to potentially dangerous sites and inspect logs of everywhere your kids have gone on the internet. While such measures may be too restrictive for older children, they can defend young ones.
  • Bring browsing into the open: Despite the fact that internet access is extremely common today, that doesn't mean young kids should be logging on unsupervised. Parenting.com suggested that parents place their family computers in well-trafficked parts of the home so they're always clear on what their kids are looking up. Furthermore, when possible, adults should be aware of the websites their youngsters are visiting. This side-by-side browsing ceases to be so necessary when kids grow older, but for the first few years of their internet-using lives, it can be a helpful form of defense.

Supervising your kids' activities - and talking to them clearly - can help keep them safe online.

Safety on today's internet

Online spaces are littered with false and deceptive websites, files and apps designed to ensnare computer users and take their personal information. Every venture into an online space could lead to problems, and parents should be ready to step in and defend their kids. Young people spend a significant amount of time in virtual spaces, which means that adults must protect and guide them into using these resources responsibly. Individuals who aren't that tech-savvy may have to pick up new information to ensure their kids are keeping to safe practices.

The same security providers that defend identity information and online financial security can step into kid-safety situations to offer relevant security tools. Learn more about protecting your child’s identity online and in person with Identity Guard’s blog, News & Insights.

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