Can you see your kids online?
“We never allow devices in the bedroom, or anywhere where we can’t see them” says CEO and mum of 3 primary aged kids. “My husband and I have even taken our phones out of our own bedroom overnight. We get such a better night’s sleep!”. The team at Perimeter Guardian love this tip because it kills two birds with one stone – you’re not only helping to make sure your children’s devices are safe, but you are setting a good example for your kids.
Now’s a good time to chat
High school teacher and dad to 4 kids regularly talks to his kids about internet safety. “I usually do it on the drive to school. About once a month I use our commute to go through the latest apps, what I’ve seen in the news and let them share with me what they know.” He tells us. “Because there’s little-to-no eye contact while I’m driving, my kids are less squeamish and embarrassed about some of the topics. I’ve found that they seem to share more than normal.” Regular chats also mean your family will be up to date, and they will become less awkward and far easier over time.
Time poor? Go screen free on weeknights
As an IT consultant, a mum of 2 boys has seen quite a few ways kids can get around safety features or parental controls, so she opts for screen-free weeknights. “I just don’t have the time or capacity to control everything the kids are doing online, especially when I work full time,” She says. “And I’m in IT! So I make sure when my parents have the boys they all know the rules, they’re clear cut. It saves heaps of ambiguity about what they can and can’t do. It also means they get their homework and chores done, and they are much more creative about how they spend their afternoons. They’ve adapted surprisingly quickly and stopped complaining after only a few days.”
Read this to make the change to screen-free weeknights
Watch what they do
“My kids know I can (and will) do snap checks on their phones,” says an ex-teacher and dad of 2 teens. “We pay for their phones and tablets, and we’re their parents. It’s our job to keep them safe, but we know it’s a fine line between respecting their privacy and parenting them. l remember when my parents found my sister’s diary when we were the same age and found out a lot of stuff that she wasn’t telling them. She was pretty angry that they did that, but it really helped her get away from some ‘friends’ that were not a good influence. She was going down a bad path, and this changed that. As my kids get a bit older, and they are making the right decisions, we are doing it less and less.” Boundaries and rules for kids also sometimes make it easier for kids to back out of things that make them feel uncomfortable, there’s less ambiguity.
Read this on how to choose safe apps for your kids
There’s an app for that
A business consultant loves her app that controls when her son is on the internet, what apps he can use and when. “At the touch of a button, I can be anywhere and I can turn it off and on. The app I use also warns me when he’s been on the net too long, and I can set time limits or have the Wi-Fi automatically turn off at certain times (like after 9 pm). My ex-partner and I have made the arrangement that he will have control of the app when he has our son.” There are lots of great ways to restrict your child’s internet use – from parental controls on the apps, games, gaming device, kid-safe internet browsers, or Wifi router setups.
Click here on how to make your internet safer
Perimeter Guardian love these tips, however nothing is 100% guaranteed to keep your child safe. We recommend thinking about how you can incorporate all of these ideas into your home and family.