Child safety advice. Keep your child safe and away from viewing inappropriate adult content and or using a service that is indented for adults only – how to block adult content on Internet-connected devices.
There is a massive amount of easily accessible adult content available online, which is clearly inappropriate for children. This being the case, it may seem there is little you can do to protect your child from accessing this unacceptable material. This isn’t true.
Here are eight key tools and tactics to eradicate – or at least drastically reduce – the risks of your child accessing content intended for adults only.
Child safety advice.
Eight tools which can help to keep your child internet-safe
- Set your search engine to “safe search” mode: For Google users go to http://www.google.com/familysafety/; Bing users go to http://www.bing.com/account; and, if you use another search engine, go to the safety settings and find this feature. If you child uses services like YouTube, be sure you have set the “safe” mode on those platforms as well.
- Child safety advice. Use the child protection tools provided by your computer’s/other device’s operating system: Both Windows and Mac operating systems provide family safety settings.
- Use child protection tool services: Sometimes called parental controls, these tools allow you to set specific filters to block types of content you find inappropriate. The suitability of some content may change as your child matures; other types of content may always be unacceptable. To find the tools that best meet your needs, search for parental-control or family-safety-tool reviews.
- Child safety advice. Keep in mind that these tools need to be installed on every device your child uses to go online: game consoles, smartphones, tablets, personal laptops, and desktop computers. Some services have options which can protect access from different types of device, others are limited to just desktop PCs or smartphones (mobiles). Using a single solution across all your devices will probably make monitoring what your child is viewing much easier than having multiple solutions applied to different devices.
- Periodically look at your child’s browser history. There are some phrases kids use to get around adult content filters – such as “childbirth” and “breastfeeding” for instance – and it is worth noting that there are a few fast-changing slang terms that filters might not have caught up with like “walking the dog,” which is a slang term for sex. If you see odd search terms, give the sites a quick look.
- Child safety advice. Have your child restrict access to their social networking sites to only known friends, and keep their sites private. A great deal of porn is shared among private albums on social networking sites.
- Scan the photos on your child’s smartphone once in a while. While very young kids aren’t sexting, by the time they’ve hit their teens they are more than likely to have begun participating in this type of behaviour. Let your child know that every so often you will sit down with them and go through the pictures they have stored on their phone.
- Check the applications your child has downloaded to their tablet or mobile. Mobile content filters may not catch everything that is potentially inappropriate.
- Child safety advice. You are your strongest tool. No technical blocking solution alone is enough to protect a determined child or teen from finding adult content online. Have the “talk” on an ongoing basis with your child about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate; this exchange should never be a one-time conversation.
- Teens, in particular, may balk at the conversations, but they do listen far more than you might imagine.
Read more: Kids and their mobiles