When a child starts to crawl, the mother child-proofs the house for child's safety. But, do you child-proof your gadgets when your kid start using them? Our kids are light years ahead of us when it comes to adapting to technology, as they are born 'tech -savvy'. I don't take pride in saying it, and feel that we need to be constant vigilant about it. Though the time my son spends on-line is controlled and monitored, I still have child-proofed my laptop.
Here are some tips to child-proof your gadgets-
- Windows 10 allows children to sign-in with their own accounts. This feature gives them the freedom to explore safely while you can set up appropriate age restrictions and time limits, and control the sites that they are visiting and games that they are playing.
- Amongst the web-browsers, I recommend chrome because it has some cool add-ons such as 'ABP' which helps blocking the unwanted ads, and Proxy browser which helps users to browse anonymously, thus safeguarding them from hackers.
- Use youtube kids instead of youtube, or subscribe to the channels which you want your kid to watch. Turn off the suggestions, recommendations, and keep the restricted mode on. Alternatively, use www.watchkin.com
- Password protect all the gadgets. Install vaults in your mobile and put the applications in the vaults, which are not kid friendly.
- Install spam filters in the kid's email account. Spam mails send non child friendly links, which the innocent kids, inadvertently, may click on.
- I see Facebook accounts of young kids. But trust me, you can never control or check who your kid is talking to, or what motive they have. A suggestion here- do not allow them to be on FB. There is a reason the site allows only adults to have an account.
- Remove webcam from the computer, or just block the webcam. I have put a paper with the help of cello-tape on the laptop's inbuilt webcam. There are hackers who don't need user's permission to peep into your room, if you aren't careful.
- Allow the kids to use cellphones, only when you know they are mature and responsible enough to handle it. If you have given them cellphones to be in touch with you- ensure that the mobile doesn't have to have data connection, and again limit and monitor the usage.
- Make the kids aware of the safety rules. For example- not talking to strangers, not accepting random people's friend requests, not opening links that they have no knowledge about etc.
- Be aware of the applications they install. There is an app called 'blue whale', which is very dangerous. There could be many other such applications.
- Turn off google play buying option or any auto filled credit- card details. You don't want to pay for anything you didn't order.
Have an open conversation with your child. No matter what you do, you still cannot make a gadget 100 % safe, so keep talking to your kids about it. And assure them that you trust them, but internet can't be trusted. I suggest limit the screen-time as much as you can.
Happy safe searching!