With Family Day just passing, families across Canada have been fortunate to spend time with their loved ones; including their kids, nieces, nephews and grandkids. This day most likely included fun activities like surfing the web, streaming movies and videos and social networking. Did your family members join in on the Internet fun? What about the kids? What safety measures should parents and adults take to monitor the kids Internet usage in the family, and how should they implement them? Here are Worldline’s tips for Internet parental control, and why the Internet is important for learning children.
The Internet is a wonderful place for expanding knowledge and creativity. It should not be completely banned from your household. In fact, providing your kids with Internet is healthy. Research has shown that parents who give their children access the Internet help them develop healthy online skills. More exposure to technology assists children not only in educational areas, but social areas as well. Although the Internet has a positive side, it is difficult to ignore the darker side of the Internet; from sex and violence to even dangerous downloads and virus’ – kids don’t benefit from that exposure and don’t understand the consequences of an illegal download. But there are ways to get around this negative exposure with a few add-ons and setting changes.
Whether you normally use Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari – each of these platforms have some form of safety settings or downloadable add-ons that assist you in Internet parental control.
For Mozilla Firefox users, they offer an add-on called FoxFilter that helps filters and block inappropriate content. They also offer an extension called KidZui which transforms Firefox into a kid-safe, fun browser. It includes an avatar feature which inspires kids to create, and gives kids the ability to share and tag content with other parent-approved friends. This add-on provides kids with a positive representation of the Internet – with included kid-friendly games. Kids are also unable to open new tabs, close browsers or download files. Firefox also has a “Safe Mode” that automatically filters out negative or violent materials when your kid is surfing.
On Google Chrome, there are multiple parental filter extensions available to download, like MetaCert and WebFilter Pro. Another Google Chrome feature, although a little more manual, is to create a specific Google Chrome account and disable or enable desired settings to fit perfect for a child user.
Safari thankfully has a built-in Internet content filter for parents, all it takes is a few clicks and you’ve enabled inappropriate content filtering with the added option to create a list of websites you prefer to restrict from your child.
Kid Safe Browsers
Say you don’t mind changing up your preferred browser – there are loads on Kid Safe browsers like Zoodles, Kido’z and KOLjr. All it takes is a simple sign up, and your kids can browse the Internet safely and securely.
And of course, outside of browsers, extensions and setting changes, it’s always important to discuss your expectations as a parent and proper Internet safety precautions with your young ones.
So don’t limit your kid’s imagination. Welcome your kid to the Worldline Canada family, the home of Unlimited Internet plans, by implementing some of these safety tips. Let’s encourage safe, but fun Internet use for the entire family.