Don’t let the title of this post scare you. Ok, maybe it should a little.
Parenting in today’s Digital Age is tough. Are we sharing too much information about our kids? When we post pictures of our kids on social media, are we unwittingly allowing strangers access into our children’s world without the necessary precaution? When we allow our kids to play on their mobile phones or iPads, have we set sufficient boundaries to prevent digital addiction? And have we done our due diligence to safeguard our family against cyberbullying and other unbeknownst danger online?
It’s tough to know if you have done enough or not enough. If you will like to know how to tackle the above questions, you can find a suite of resources by the Media Literacy Council on this link that is specially catered for parents: http://www.medialiteracycouncil.sg/
HOW DO I PROTECT MY CHILDREN ONLINE?
One effective way to protect children online is to use internet filters, which assess and restrict content delivered over the Internet. They are useful tools for safeguarding children from harmful online material. Internet filters can be broadly categorised as search engine filters, and web and mobile filters – which are available from developers and internet access service providers (IASPs). Search engine filters Popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo and YouTube can filter out explicit content from your children’s search results.
To minimise chances of your children stumbling onto content that may be disturbing to them, such as extreme violence, horror and sexually explicit content, do turn on the strict filtering setting on these sites. The search results will be filtered to show only what is acceptable. You will have to activate the SafeSearch settings on every browser or device that your children use.
Web and mobile filters Web and mobile filters come in the forms of software and safe mobile browsers that you can download and install. You can get them online from well-known software developers and internet security companies, as well as from your IASP, which can bundle your internet subscription package with its filtering package. Filtering software can do more than simply block specific websites. They can also help you monitor and track your child’s internet use, if you so wish. These features are collectively known as parental controls. Page | 2 www.medialiteracycouncil.sg
Here are some features that you can activate, depending on the type of filter or package you select.
- Block objectionable websites, videos and music;
- Filter according to categories and age-based settings;
- Create “black lists” of unsuitable sites and “white lists” of approved sites;
- Get logs that report all activities, including websites visited;
- Set time limits or specific time windows for your children’s internet access;
- Track words and phrases that your children have used for searches;
- Enable safe search on search engines;
- Block contact with strangers;
- Monitor your children’s use of social networking sites; and
- Get notifications if your children attempt to access inappropriate websites
‘* Information from MLC
The Media Literacy Council (MLC) is celebrating Safer Internet Day, an annual global initiative celebrated on 9th February which aims to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile devices among children and young people.
This year, MLC is engaging the support of young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers and the wider community to launch a new campaign with the theme “A Better Internet Is a Happier Internet” to the public.
Join The Emoji Face Challenge by sharing a selfie or video mimicking one of these emojis online and pledge your support for a better internet.