Online safety: top tips for parents
The way that the internet has become part of the tapestry of everyday life is nothing short of remarkable. Today, our kids are thrust into a world that is different from the one even the most tech savvy of parents grew up in and that means teaching them how to stay safe online is more important than ever. Whilst the internet represents a multitude of opportunities for our children, it also carries its fair share of risks.
Every generation has its own way of talking to each other. This doesn't just mean the actual language and slang that is adopted and discarded as generations change, but also the medium. SMS messaging was never expected to be a major selling point or revenue stream for telecommunications companies but the way that young people adopted the technology, especially in the UK, meant texting became an important part of everyday communication.
As mobile devices became more internet friendly, other areas of communication have been picked up on by younger users and social media is perhaps the biggest example. While most sites have age-restrictions it is still important that you teach your children how to change their privacy settings and emphasise the importance of only accepting friend requests from people they know and never sharing personal information online.
Virgin Media mobile broadband offers speeds that mean smartphones, tablets and laptops are not restricted in terms of connection capabilities and this has had the effect of making social networking sites even more popular. It is extremely difficult to monitor the online activity of your kids, so the essential thing to concentrate on is educating them to the dangers that lurk on the web.
When it comes to accessing content via their phones or other internet-enabled devices this means investing in the correct security packages. You can find plenty of free options on the apps market so you don’t need to worry about your bank balance either. You may also want to consider looking into parental control options if you’re concerned about your children accessing unsuitable content.
Most good internet packages from providers such as Virgin Media, good security features are provided as standard. However, dedicated stand-alone applications such as firewalls can offer more thorough protection and it really is a case of the more the merrier.
One of the best ways to make sure your kids have a safe online environment, no matter what type of device they are using to connect, is to keep up to date with the latest software. Often automatic updates can be intrusive and many people choose to turn them off but if you do this then you need to make sure you remember to check for updates and manually install them instead.