How to Spy on your Kids Online the Right Way
Parenting was always hard but the online world of today has made it even harder. Kids start playing with smartphones when they’re toddlers and soon they know how to operate it fully. As they grow up, they become more conscious of their online presence. They start texting people, make social media accounts, meet strangers online and share almost every aspect of their day to day life.
This consciousness of the digital world, however, is not a bad thing. We are living in the age of technology and internet has great influence on our lives. Not being a part of it only makes it harder for the people, particularly young kids, to fit in. They need access to the internet, for sure. But parents don’t like giving unrestricted access to the internet to their children because of its dangers. In fact, they monitor their every movement to the point that they end up violating the privacy of their teens.
This brews mistrust between the parent and child, affecting their whole relationship. Does that mean it’s wrong for parents to monitor the online activity of their child?
No. But they need to follow some rules. Here are some tips that can make it easier for parents to monitor their children online.
Tell them the Dangers they can Encounter
The best way to protect your children from cyber threats is to tell them about it. Present examples of such cases from the news that show the dire consequences of trusting strangers you met online. And not only that, tell them how a careless word or comment on social media can follow them forever. Warn them against participating in cyber bullying or watching age inappropriate content online. If they are aware of the dangers, they are more likely to be careful when going online.
If you’re Using a Monitoring Software, let them know beforehand
Even if they know the dangers of the online world, they might be still curious. Parents cannot stop them completely from visiting inappropriate websites. That’s why, a lot of parents resort to using monitoring software. A monitor software informs the parent regarding every activity their child is doing on their smartphone. It alerts them who is calling when, what is being said in text messages, the contents of the photos and videos on their kid’s phone as well as their web browser history. Not only this, parents can also know where their child is, using GPS location tracking.
This is a huge invasion of the children’s privacy and should only be used as a last measure. Before purchasing any such software, make certain to talk to your kid. Let them know what it is and how he or she will be monitored. Remember, the point of spying on you kid is not to catch them red-handed, but to prevent them from getting involved in something dangerous.
Set time limits to how much phone or internet they can use
For younger kids, it is easier to regulate their online activities by setting limits to how much phone they can use and when. A few hours a day after school is enough for them to keep connected with their friends and stay up to date with what’s going on. It is important that you refrain them from using phone or laptop past midnight.
Blacklist certain keywords
A good way to monitor the online activity of your child is to blacklist certain keywords on devices. You can do this on smartphone, laptops as well as tablets using the parental control feature or a good monitoring software. These keywords can be swear words, sex related language or anything you deem inappropriate for your child. You can also block certain websites and ensure that your child cannot access them using proxy service.