These days, almost everyone has a computer. This could be a traditional computer or laptop, or it could be a tablet. Whichever device you use, it’s likely your family has constant access to the internet. The internet is a mixed bag of wonderful opportunities and serious dangers, so it’s crucial to know how to protect your kids.
Limit Screen Time
Experts recommend kids two years old or younger should have no screen time and some up the age to four or younger. For children ages 3-18, screen time should be two hours a day or less. The negative physical and behavioral effects of too much screen time are well documented: irregular sleep patterns, aggression, and increased obesity risk. Give your children plenty of other healthy, educational things to do besides using the computer, such as playing outside or reading.
Set Up Accounts
Whatever social media apps your kids are using, you should be using. Know your kids’ passwords, and periodically check their history. Ask your child to teach you how to use online apps and texting so they feel part of your educational process.
Use Parental Controls
Most internet browsers allow parents to “lock” unapproved sites and even set time limits for kids’ online activity. If you don’t have these controls or know how to use them, get them. If a site has an age limit, abide by that. Know the people your child is interacting with online. If you don’t know the person in real life, be extremely cautious or delete him or her entirely.