As John Chapin the well-known promotional speaker once said: “WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO EDUCATE TODAY’S STUDENTS FOR TOMORROWS WORLD WITH YESTERDAYS SCHOOLS”
Life is moving forward so fast in our fabulous world of technology. We have access to an abundance of information. We have every skill and detail at our fingertips. I just love the ease at which we are able to move forward and grow on a daily basis.
Our children are being introduced to the interactive levels of education that iPads and tablets have to offer. Most of them are more tech savvy as toddlers than we will ever be. They are capable of learning and achieving far more than we ever could, and all of this can be done instantly and at the touch of a button. This technical world is awesome and has so much to give, but unfortunately like everything in life there is good and bad. So how do we enrich our children with the good and protect them from the bad?
The first step is to educate ourselves, we cannot protect our children from something that we don’t understand. We cannot protect them if we don’t know what we are protecting them from. So I have decided to help you along the way and give you a few tips on how to protect your children when they enter the digital space.
First step it to make sure that you have the correct restrictions in place. Did you know that all tablets and iPads come with the factory restriction settings set on Adult and explicit content? Very scary, because this enables them to see a whole world of things that they should not be exposed to.
You can change these settings by doing the following:
If you are working with an iPad, go to settings, click on General, scroll down till you reach restrictions. Once you click on restrictions, you will be able to restrict certain apps, searches, in app purchases. Scroll down further and you can change all the ratings and age restrictions. You will see that there is a block ladled website. Click on websites and type in any sites that you do not want your children to visit. I would suggest that you type in www.youtube.com as well as www.mtube.com.
If you are working on an Android tablet, go to settings, scroll down and select users, go to add user or profile. You can create either a normal user profile, or a restricted profile. Click on Restricted profile. You will then be prompted to set up a screen lock for your device. Set lock, and follow the instructions. Give the new profile a name. You will now see a list of apps, web browsers, location information and app purchases. This will now give you a password that you will use for your phone and your child will only be able to access the apps and information that you deem fit for them.
By setting these restrictions you will protect yourself from receiving expensive bills on items that your child may have purchased by mistake. You will be protecting them from giving away their location, coming in contact with online predators and being exposed to explicit adult content.
The next step is to explain to your children that anything that they put online a photo, a comment or accepting a friend request will always remain, even if they delete it, it will be out there somewhere for someone to see.
You cannot see who you are actually talking to, a person can pose as a 13year old boy or girl, but they may actually be a predator that is trying to lore you into their circle and trust. Don’t give or accept anything that is not from someone that you know well and have met in person. You would not tell a stranger things about yourself, so don’t share it online.
Apps have an age restricting for a reason, respect the restrictions that have been put in place to protect you.
Anything you share online, you should be happy for your parents to see. If you would die if they came across it, don’t share it.
If you are going to enter the digital world, you have to have respect. Think one before you say it, think twice before you write it, think three times before you share it. There are no rubbers online.
If your children are old enough to be on social media, ensure that you are friends with them so that you can keep an eye on what is being said.
Explain to them that if they do accidently come across something that they know they should not have, to come and chat to you about it. Open conversation and Online use go hand in hand. If they are not sure about something, they should rather come and ask you.
Most important, you as a parent cannot be naive. You have to stay on top of your game and understand how easy it is for your children to stumble across inappropriate information. My sister was helping her daughter with her school project and when she googled crabs, what popped up on the screen was not what she was expecting, fortunately her daughter did not see the images that she did, but this is a true example of how something so innocent can go so wrong online.
We cannot watch what our children are doing 24 seven, so rather be safe than sorry.