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How To Know What Your Kids Are Doing Online

Over the past few years, the amount of time our kids spend online has dramatically increased, with younger people now using technology for virtually every aspect of their lives, from schooling to socializing. Knowing what your kids are doing online and how to keep them safe is the key responsibility of all parents in the digital era.

 

Educate Yourself

The generation gap exists in nearly every aspect of our lives, but possibly the biggest divide may come with our technological age difference. A recent survey highlighted the difference between how Gen Z and older generations use technology. This survey highlighted that 72% of adults use social platforms, with a general preference for Facebook. In comparison, 81% of all teenagers and kids use social media and prefer TikTok and Instagram, and unsurprisingly, they spend a lot more time online.

Some social media platforms that our kids love might seem like completely alien worlds to us, but if you want to keep your kids safe, it’s vital to educate yourself on how they work, how your kids use them, and who they communicate with. Spend time and keep open communication with your kids, taking an interest in their online social life. Of course, you can always use parental control software, but building trust and open communication can often be the best path.

You may assume that kids are risky users online and with social media. However, surveys have shown that Gen Zers are highly proficient with their internet usage: they have a high awareness of internet safety issues and take precautions. They know how to use privacy settings better than older generations, and are also better at hiding their identity, with many youngsters having at least one fake Instagram or ‘Finsta’ (Fake Instagram) account.

Keep Kids Safe Online

As well as educating yourself, it’s essential to teach your kids healthy online habits.

Utilize Technology

Make use of parental controls that are now part of most programs or apps. Where possible, use the highest level of privacy setting available. You could install antivirus software and use VPNs, as well as help your kids to learn how to use security features and programs themselves. In addition, it’s worth discussing the basic online safety precautions, like never giving personal information to strangers, etc.

Open Dialogue

Having honest and open communication with your kids is vital. Have clear and consistent rules of how your youngsters are allowed to use technology and online resources. You can’t always be there to watch what your kids are doing, especially now that most have their own mobile devices, so don’t just give them rules but also teach them the value of online safety. This is especially important for teenagers and older kids. Speak openly with your children about how they post or comment online.

Behavior

If your kid’s behavior changes or starts to behave secretively, don’t overreach but don’t ignore it either, they may be experiencing bullying online. Help them feel as comfortable as possible to share any concerns with you or another adult.

There are so many benefits for young people in knowing how to use technology correctly, including giving them a voice and a place to form long-lasting friendships. Educating your kids on using technology will also give them opportunities and advantages later in life.

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