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Does being online hurt our kids?



Ways parents can protect kids while they are online

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There’s no debate the internet can be a dangerous place for kids—between online bullying, hacking, and phishing scams, there’s a lot to protect your kids from when they surf the web. 

With COVID-19 social distancing measures in place nationwide, kids are now even more glued to their screens. So, what’s the best way to protect them? Watch their every move? Track their Google history? 

Luckily, there are many ways to protect your kid online. Here are two tips to start.  

1. Start with your router 

Your home’s router is the source of all internet traffic within your home. The more you secure your router, the better protected kids will be—and the less likely they are to come across inappropriate or harmful content. 

For example, as a parent, you can control what children search via the router. You can also restrict internet access during certain times of day, block mature websites unfit for children and pre-schedule screen time limits. 

To customize your router, open a web browser on your computer or laptop. Find your router’s 8-digit IP address (which is usually on the router) and use this to log into your router’s network. From there, you can customize your router’s settings as you please. 

2. Protect them when they use their smartphone too 

Whether or not your kids have an Android or iPhone, the Google Family Link app for Android and the Screen Time app for iOS helps you keep a watchful eye on kids’ smartphones. 

Both apps apply time limits per app and allow you to delete certain apps. There are some key differences between Screen Time and Family Link, though. For instance, Screen time has no option to instantly turn off your kiddo’s device or limit screen time control. With Family Link, screen time control operates in fifteen-minute increments. 

Both apps allow you to monitor devices and prevent your children from deleting any Google search history. The good news is, regardless of the differences between the two apps, both give you an equal shot at protecting your kids. 

Lastly, don’t panic! There are multiple ways to keep them safe

Whether your children are gaming online, watching TV with their friends, or swiping and clicking on their phones, there are several ways you can keep them out of harm’s way. 

Beyond the suggestions we listed above, most web browsers allow you to block specific websites via a child account. This will look different depending on if you use Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Safari or another browser, but most allow you to customize filter settings. 

If you still feel stumped on ways to protect your children online, try these additional tips: 

  • Check browser add-ons
  • Clear your browser’s cache 
  • Establish house rules (like set screen times) 
  • Put your home’s desktop computer in an open area that’s visible to everyone 

Above all, the best thing you can do with children is speak to them. Gently warn them of the dangers that exist on the web—that way they can recognize them if they stumble across them. When kids understand why protective measures are in place, they’ll be more likely to follow your home internet safety rules. 

USDIRECT
USDirect.com is an authorized DIRECTV dealer. 
The team at USDirect knows that parents can’t watch their kids 24/7, especially while trying to work during the day. That’s why they created an in-depth Parental Controls Guide to help parents feel at ease with their kids streaming tv and playing online during working hours.




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