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Internet Child Protection and Home Firewall Parental Controls

October 05, 2016
By admin in Internet

The internet. It’s a marvelous innovation that puts information and entertainment at our fingertips, It’s essential whether we are at home, at work, at school, or on the go. 

With such easy access to every kind of content, how can parents help their children use the Internet safely and responsibly?   Aside from easy access to inappropriate content, young users may also be susceptible to phishing attacks and malware, which can infect your computer, your files, and result in the theft of your online credentials and other personal identifying information that could allow cyber criminals to gain unauthorized access to your accounts.  The task of ensuring your child’s safe and responsible use of the internet has become even more difficult with the proliferation of smart phones and social media sites. Internet child protection requires a combination of technical know-how, vigilance, education, and effective parenting,

 

Non-Technical Solutions

We’re going to get into some technical solutions in a moment, but right now, here are some parenting strategies that might help. Talk to your kids about the internet, and explain that you have to set some boundaries for their benefit. Make it clear that you trust them, but that certain content is not permitted, so you will monitor internet use.

Penalties for ignoring online boundaries need to be clear. Suspension of online privileges and temporary confiscation of online devices are obvious consequences. On the flip side, children who consistently obey the rules can be permitted to have online time.

An obvious, but very effective, internet child protection strategy is to allow your child to go online only in rooms where you and other family members are present. This rule still works, but has become harder to enforce with the flood of mobile devices capable of accessing the internet, including phones, handheld gaming devices, and even music players. We’ve got a few suggestions for dealing with those below...

 

Home Firewall Parental Controls

Your router does more than deliver the internet to your devices. Most come with a variety of parental controls, web filtering settings, and other features to help protect your child. For instance, some children know how to delete their browser history or activate private browsing modes (or they learn very quickly). If your router has an activity logging feature, enable it and you’ll get a log of all online activity—including any originating from mobile devices.

You can also set routers to deny internet access at certain times of day, so you can prevent anyone from getting online when they should be asleep.

 

The Signal Coming from Outside the House

Even if you have your own router password protected, with the strictest home firewall parental controls and locked in a safe, your kids still have options. If a neighbor’s Wi-Fi isn’t password protected, your child could get online through the unsecure network.

To check, scan for unsecure wireless networks. If one’s within range, it might well be a neighbor’s. If possible, ask your neighbor to add a password to his network, which protects him from hackers as well as from other users stealing his bandwidth. Remind children that stealing bandwidth is just that—stealing—and is not acceptable behavior.

 

Identity Theft and Personal Information

You might also explore software that prevents children from sharing personal information online, in chat rooms, social media sites or via email, since identity theft or the disclosure of personal identifying information in these forums could pose potential harm to young people.

 

Mobile Phones

With more young people having mobile phones, and getting them at ever-younger ages, it’s also important to establish clear limits for responsible use of these devices.   For example, you may restrict phone use during mealtime and insist that all phones are in the charging cradle at bedtime, outside of the child’s bedroom. Be firm and be consistent.

Responsible use of internet also includes how children use social media.  Many schools have worked to educate students about the harm of cyber bullying, the taking and sharing of photos and videos, and how to use social sites in a safe, responsible way..

Internet child protection takes some work. Establish reasonable limits, talk to your children, and stay informed on the issue.  To find out more, visit

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/protecting-kids-online

http://www.connectsafely.org/safety-tips-advice/

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act

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