5 Online Safety Tips for KidsApril 29, 2019
This is a sponsored post written by me for the Family Link app from Google. All opinions are mine alone. #FamilyLink #Sponsored
There’s no doubt that technology plays such a large role in our everyday lives. Nowadays kids start using computers and smartphones at earlier ages than ever, so it’s imperative to make sure they are ready to navigate the online world responsibly. Today I’ll be sharing some smart, practical tips for parents, including using the Family Link app, keeping the lines of communication open, and more.
5 Online Safety Tips for Kids
1. Keep communication open.
Nothing replaces the value of open, honest communication between parent and child. Having conversations about appropriate (and inappropriate) online behavior is essential. Make sure your kids understand the dangers of the internet and the importance of keeping private information confidential.
2. Download the Family Link app from Google.
When it comes to managing your child’s online activity, nothing beats the the Family Link app from Google. It’s an all-in-one app that guides your children toward a safer internet experience. With this app, it’s easy to set ground rules for what your child can (and cannot) do with their smartphones. Whether they’re learning, playing or simply exploring the internet, let the Family Link app from Google guide them.
One of my favorite features of the Family Link app is the fact that it facilitates the management of content on a child’s device. Worried about which apps your kid might download? The Family Link app allows parents to remotely approve or decline apps that kids want to download from the Google Play Store.
How convenient is that?! There’s no need to get on their phone to check their apps – you can do it all from your own phone (or Chromebook.)
It’s also possible to restrict content available in the Play Store according to maturity rating.
Furthermore, you can also temporarily hide specific apps on their smartphone at any time. This is perfect if they need to focus on doing their homework and you don’t want them to get distracted by their favorite games. Oh, and don’t worry about any in-app purchases… with the Family Link app, parents need to approve all in-app transactions. So there’s no need to worry about a surprise bill!
I also love that there’s an app activity report that outlines exactly what they are doing on their device. If your child likes to surf the web, there are controls for that too. It’s possible block specific sites, only allow a specific set of sites, and apply filters that attempt to block mature content in your Family Link settings. You can control so many aspects of a child’s online experience with the Family Link app from Google.
Does your child tend to spend too much time online? You can control that through the app too. To manage time spent on a device, Family Link allows you to set a daily limit for each day of the week- once that time is up, the device is locked and they can only make calls if they need to. There’s also the option of setting a device bedtime, so that screen time doesn’t interfere with bedtime.
Oh, and as long as your child is carrying their phone and it’s on, you can see where you kid is located at any time. That offers a peace of mind I appreciate, especially now that Sophia is getting older.
3. Let them earn it.
Generally, the use of technology should not be considered a right for kids- it should be considered a privilege! Devices should be earned through good behavior, good grades and a completed set of chores. Make sure kids understand that if they fail to behave appropriately, their phones could be taken away or “locked.” If you need to disable your child’s phone for some reason, the Family Link app from Google lets you remotely lock your kid’s device at any time. If you have Google Home set up in your household, you can simply say “Hey Google, lock Sophia’s device.” Awesome!
4. Keep computers in a public spot.
One general guideline I like to implement in our household is that all computers need to be used in a public spot, like the kitchen or living room. There’s no need for a child to surf the web in their bedrooms. Furthermore, keep the screens facing outward so there’s no secrecy about the content viewed online.
5. Know your child’s passwords.
Keep a record of your child’s passwords to all online accounts, including email & social media sites. Regularly monitor their online exchanges by logging into their accounts and ensuring that all interactions are appropriate.
Begin setting digital ground rules with your family today with the Family Link app from Google. How do you manage your kid’s use of technology? Do you follow any of these tips?