The Internet has become an integral part of daily life, with the current generation of children never having known a time before the World Wide Web existed. This does not mean that Generation Z instantly knows how to use the Internet safely however – and there is a vast amount of content available online that is unsuitable for children.
So how can parents keep their kids safe?
Use the tools you have available
Virtually every home broadband router has some kind of filtering built-in, allowing you to restrict access to adult content for instance. You will need to refer to the instruction manual that came with your router or contact your ISP for advice.
If you are more technical, you may be able to adjust the DNS settings in your router. Changing DNS resolution to point at OpenDNS allows you to automatically block various categories of web traffic – like instant messaging and social networking – for instance.
Both these methods are very effective – but they are not foolproof either.
Invest in content filtering
In most cases, a dedicated content filter that includes parental controls, like Panda Dome Advanced, offer an additional (essential) layer of protection. Similar to the router filter system, every web request is checked to ensure it is not going to a site or service that hosts harmful content.
The Panda Dome parental controls go further than simply web blocking too. Adults are able to block suspicious apps from being installed or used for instance. And on mobile devices, they are able to block calls to and from unknown or suspicious telephone numbers.
Content filtering software also has one other major advantage over home router services – it applies exactly the same blocking technology to devices outside the home too. Connecting to an unprotected networks will not increase the risk of being exposed to harmful content.
Don’t just block it – talk about it
When you install a content filter for the first time, you may find your kids think you are just out to spoil their fun. It is incredibly important to talk about how there is dangerous and harmful content posted on the Internet, and that as a parent who loves them very much it is your job to keep them safe.
By talking about how you are protecting them, you help your kids understand the importance. You can also talk about the dangers they may face online, and how best to deal with them – like telling you about cyberbullying, grooming or general threats that make them feel uncomfortable.
Talking about online dangers helps to satisfy kids’ natural curiosity too, helping to convince them not to go looking for trouble online.
You can get started with content filtering right now – download a free Panda Dome trial and see how easy it is to protect your family online.