Being a parent is a full-time job. It is a never-ending struggle to keep kids out of trouble, especially with children spending too much time online these days. The phrase’ don’t talk to strangers has changed with the introduction of the Internet and social media networking sites.
So, do you know what your children are up to online? If you don’t, here’s a guide to help you become more aware and keep a check on your kids’ online activities.
Use the Applications your Kids are Using
One of the best ways to understand what your kid is doing online is to be on the same applications with them. It will provide insight into the app and the type of content your kid is exposed to. Also, you will know the dangers of the application.
Once you are familiarized with the apps they’re using, you can monitor their activities.
Keep an Eye on Account Transactions
Most parents are unaware that their children are spending money on in-app microtransactions. It can happen when their devices are synced with your app store accounts. It can also happen when you haven’t set up two-factor authentication for purchases.
Therefore, as parents, you need to make a note of all the accounts your kids have access to and periodically scrutinize those accounts to keep a check on their online transactions. For instance, if you share an Amazon account with your kid, you need to monitor the orders to ensure you are not surprised by a hefty bill.
If you are part of the Apple ecosystem and your child has access to your Apple account, you must see what Apple is charging you for. If you ask how do I see what Apple is charging me for, you can go to the purchase history and get a detailed bill. You can even get an invoice sent to your email address. If you have a dispute or see several unauthorized transactions, you can speak to the Apple customer support team.
By monitoring these transactions, you’ll understand what your child is doing online and the kind of applications they are purchasing. You can prevent them from making such purchases by setting up separate access for purchases. It will help curb their spending habits.
Check their Browsing Habits
Do you see your child browsing the web late at night? If too much Internet usage happens after hours or your kids are always on the web when they are unsupervised, you can follow these practices to monitor or limit their behavior.
- Track usage, screen time, and activity history through your child’s phone and laptop. You can learn a lot about what your kids are doing online by tracking their usage. Most smartphones include native applications today that track screen time. You can break it down by the time of day, app, etc. For parents, these usage reports are a great starting point.
- You can go through their browser history. All popular web browsers, such as Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, save the web pages that a user has visited. You can go through the browsing history to see all the websites your kids have visited and get an idea of their activities online.
- One way to limit your kids’ online activities is to make a rule to use a smartphone, desktop, or laptop outside of the bedroom. It will be easier to monitor when they are browsing the web in the common area. It will also prevent night-time web browsing.
- You can also set curfews and screen-time limits if you see your kid is using their smartphone or laptop too much. Staying online for too long can impact their studies, and it can also affect their eyesight. Therefore, it would be good if you enforced curfews on their online activities.
Follow your Kids on Social Media
Most parents follow their kids on Facebook but not on other platforms. If you want to know what your kids are upto online, you need to follow them across social media platforms, especially Instagram and Twitter.
You can also create a Snapchat account to monitor your kids’ activities on this platform.
Besides these, you must sit down with your kids and explain the dangers of unsupervised online activities. It is critical to make your child understand online safety and how they can stay safe. Also, encourage your child to have open conversations with you so they can come to you if they encounter any problems online.
So, now you know how to monitor your child’s online activities. You can implement some of these practices to ensure your kid is safe. But most importantly, never shy away from having meaningful conversations with your child, so they know you are always there to guide them and offer a helping hand.