Technology can be a wonderful tool but it can also be risky for young children. When you’re concerned about your children’s use of the internet, you want to see what websites they have visited and how they’re using the computer.
Here are some free and inexpensive things you can do to monitor your children’s internet activity:
1. Log onto the computer your child uses and onto the internet. Look through the websites your child has visited. Go to the upper left hand corner to File. Scroll down to Tools and then click on Internet Options then Settings. This will bring up a list of all websites visited on this computer. Write down any website addresses which have you concerned so you can discuss them with your child.
2. Create a list of websites which are off-limits because they can have inappropriate content for children. These could include Snapchat and YouTube. There may be others, but this will give you an idea about the types of site which may not be right for your child.
3. Keep the computer children use in a central location where people will be going past them occasionally. If you notice your child hurrying to cover up or turn off the screen, you may have an indication your child is viewing something they shouldn’t.
4. Check with your internet provider to see if there is a program they offer to help protect your children. If they don’t offer a program for free, they may be able to make a recommendation for a free or inexpensive program.
5. Download the KidZui browser for your children to use. The browser will allow you to view the websites your child has visited. It also has other features which will protect children aged 3-12. Just like any other browser, however, your child must open it and it does not run without your child’s knowledge. The program can be downloaded for free but it does have its limitations.
6. Install parental control software. There are many good parental control programs available for parents to use to monitor their kids’ internet usage. Choose something that will block certain websites and limit the hours children can be online. It runs in the background and will warn children if they try to access something that’s inappropriate.
7. Do some research for yourself. There are so many software programs offering to help you monitor your child’s internet usage, you’ll want to compare them and find the one that will work best for your family. Prices range from free to $100 or more. Some will allow you to install the program on more than one computer at a time.
Monitoring your kids’ internet activity takes the investment of time and perhaps some money, but it will pay big dividends in terms of their well-being.