Keeping Kids Safe Online: a Guide for Parents

As technology has evolved and the Internet has become more widely adopted in homes around the world, we’ve been presented with a whole series of new challenges. As parents we want to provide our children with the best possible resources to help them learn and, quite often, that involves them using the Internet where there are all kinds of potential e-safety issues to overcome.

In addition to people hacking into your system because of a lack of security software installed on your machines or a poorly secured Internet connection – and the increasingly savvy hackers who are able to do it – there are also the more widely reported issues such as people hiding behind false identities online and speaking to our kids who remain blissfully innocent.

We’ve all heard of stories where children think they’ve been chatting to their friends online and it turns out to be a stranger they’ve never met. Now that children are playing computer games over the Internet these issues are becoming increasingly common.

So how do I keep my children safe online?

No parent wants to ban their child from using the Internet or from playing games with their friends, so how do we keep our kids safe when gaming or doing their homework?

Parental controls

Your Internet provider will have their own set of tools built into the system that lets you allow and block certain types of websites from being accessed either deliberately or accidentally, especially if what starts out as a completely innocent online search as part of their homework could go drastically wrong.

Parents have the ability to block and filter potentially harmful sites where children may encounter graphic videos or gambling websites, while certain types of pop-up can also be blocked from appearing. This can be done on a permanent basis so that nobody connected to that particular broadband connection can access these sites, or you can put times on the blocks so that you can access certain sites as parents once the children are in bed.

Age restrictions

Gaming can be very addictive especially for young children who get hooked on a certain game, even to the point where they abandon their other interests to keep playing either online with friends or by themselves depending on the title.

Each type of computer game comes with a PEGI age rating which is a recommendation for the age that a player should start playing that game. While some families are fairly relaxed with these kinds of regulations, especially when siblings are playing a title that one is old enough to play and one isn’t, the graphic content and fact that they are connected to the Internet can still be harmful.

If you’re in any doubt whatsoever either prevent your child from playing age restricted games online completely, or put a time limit on their Internet usage in your parental controls.

Anti-virus and Wi-Fi privacy software

Developers have acted quickly to provide high quality software designed to keep hackers and potentially harmful material off your machines.

Norton, one of the leading names in on and offline PC security, have developed Norton Security Deluxe 3.0 providing a renewable one-year security package that can be used across five different devices and covers your Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices against viruses, spyware and malware; even presenting you with an on-screen warning if it gets suspicious about a website.

Wi-Fi privacy software, as the name suggests, helps to keep your private information such as log-in and banking details behind passwords so that they can’t be accessed by anyone who isn’t on your network. This can then be used across everything from desktop PCs to smartphones.

If you’re on the lookout for new PC or laptop security software to keep your children safe online, visit BT Shop today.

We’ve also got a range of Best in Class tech deals and offers to help you save money on the latest tech ahead of the back to school rush!

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