There has been a lot written about whether or not it is ok for parents to control what their children are doing on the Internet. This starts with supervising which websites they are visiting and spending time on.
Parental control applied to browsing means several things:
- Filter the websites which they are allowed to visit based on their category. This includes many categories like sex, violence, games, social networks, etc. and it functions like a blacklist of addresses. Remember that no blacklist is perfect and that every minute there are many websites created, so it can be that exactly your child’s favorite website is not in that list yet.
Control the time they are allowed to spend online
By setting time limits you make sure that your children have a real social life and interact with people outside of the virtual world. The “friends” in the virtual world are not exactly real friends. See the previous chapter – many children and yound people post things which they would never say to someone face to face. This makes the difference between online and offline.
Set the device’s profile to be that of a child.
Many mobile devices like tablets allow now to set second profiles which are locked environments which can be used exclusively by children. Unfortunately not all allow this, so you have to be careful what you use. Windows allows this in the configuration of each user account.
If your devices can’t properly set this up then you should configure this directly in the router. OpenDNS (http://www.opendns.com/) has some good How-Tos for the most used devices around.
Have a chat with your child about what he should see and what not, what is real and what not.
This is the healthiest and long term solution. But, the temptation is big and after all, all his “friends” are doing that already. Many children think that if someone is doing something, then it can’t be that bad. This is why it is also important to continue to keep an eye on what he is doing.
All these and many more topics are in the free eBook "Improve your security" available here: www.improve-your-security.org.