According to Surajit Khanna, child advocate from New York, mobile phone usage among kids continues to rise at a fast pace and many at age eleven already have one. While the digital world can pose more opportunities for kids for assessing information to entertainment, it can also expose them to the dark world of the internet.
Sexting, cyber-bullying, internet and social media addictions, online name-calling and other cyber crimes become the order of the day. While these and many more make the online world a dangerous space for everyone, kids and teens are more vulnerable and are easy prey. Not to ignore the fact that all these can have serious consequences on the kid’s overall well-being and worse still, they might unknowingly expose the whole family to cyber threats.
Therefore, it becomes imperative for parents to protect their kids and become involved in their online activities just as much as in the real world. It’s no longer the era of wait and prays but a time to step in and take action before it’s too late. Here, Surajit Khanna, a child advocate is providing tips to monitor kid’s online activities.
“Whether your kid is using an apple decide or android, there are different tools available to track their location, text and online activities. Moreover, the impact of educating the kids about the dangers of the internet and how to ensure safety cannot be overemphasized,” Surajit Khanna says.
Invest in Monitoring Apps
Your teen is never too old for the good old surveillance of their activities says Surajit Khanna. From the text they receive and send to who they are communicating with to phone calls, to GPS, there are tools available for both android and iPhone to monitor their phone usage. All you need to do is to install them on your phone and your kid’s phone and set up an account. Many service providers like the phone tracker app allow you to:
- Track GPS, phone calls and all web activity
- Alert you of kids phone activities and location
- Download their contacts to see who they are chatting with
- Review and block contact
Enable Parental Control
“Let’s be real, round the clock monitoring of kids’ activities online is not possible. With a long list of to-do lists that parents have to attend to, keeping a tab of kids’ online activities every day is the last thing they want to do, Surajit Khanna observes. “The good thing is many phones provide parental controls that can accord a level of parental peace of mind. They contain in-built features that can be adjusted in the settings in order to reduce the likelihood of exposure to online dangers”, Surajit explains.
1. For iPhone
Go to Settings and tap restrictions
Select Enable Restrictions
With this you can block certain video ratings and websites you don’t want your kids to visit. Besides, you can limit devices’ functions including camera and browser usage. And if you want to see your kid’s messages, you can forward them to yourself by making changes in the settings as well.
2. Google Family Accounts
If both the parent and kids are using android, setting an a family/child account on google makes sense. With this, parents can easily put on and off apps they want their children to access. Moreover, it can allow users to make purchases across devices and with parents explicit consent of course.
Sign up a google account
Download the family link app.
Set up user profile
Tap settings and then manage family members.
3. Google Play Stores
You can also make use of google play apps to prevent your kids from downloading contents that are inappropriate for their age like films, songs, games or TV shows. For this,
Go to google play on your child’s phone
Tap on the settings and click on parental controls
Input a password that only you can have access to and can easily remember.
“If we can set boundaries by restricting kids’ movement to certain places that can expose them to drugs, guns and other dangers, it’s also important to restrict the virtual places they visit,” Surajit Khanna concludes.