A recent Nielsen Study shows that over 75% of kids are on a mobile plan by the time they are 12 year old, and most of those plans include text messaging and data. Another study found that kids under 9 are already spending ore than 2 hours a day on screens.
Here are five simple strategies to help keep your child away from dangerous websites and content:
- Use parental controls to limit access to websites from their phone or computer, especially for younger kids. There are plenty of good apps available, and many offer you the ability to also monitor your child’s activity.
- Check the privacy settings on your child’s device and make sure pop-ups are blocked and automatic connections are disabled.
- Teach kids to be wary about going to sites that offer stuff like free software. This is a lesson that everyone should learn early: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Also explain that bad software can mess up their computer or phone so badly they won’t be able to use it. That should get their attention!
- Warn kids never to click on links in email from someone they don’t know or links on ads that pop up on their browser or phones.
- Make sure kids know how to shut down browser windows quickly if something unexpected happens, such as a download starting or inappropriate content or texts from a stranger suddenly appearing. And ask them to tell you right away about what happened.