Some Online Safety Tips for Kids

When the vacations start, our children will almost inevitably increase the amount of time they spend online.  The worry for all parents is that they encounter stuff that’s simply inappropriate for their age range.  Nobody can police the entire internet on behalf of their kids but there are a few basics that can keep them in safer territory online.

Most social and video sharing sites now have filters, YouTube has one of the most sophisticated as you’d perhaps expect.  The Safety Mode in Youtube will block all videos that has adult content or where the uploader has assiged the video an age restriction.  You’ll find the button at the botton of the YouTube page marked ’safety’, just click it to turn it on.  What is so good about the YouTube feature is that it filters in an unobtrusive way, videos are not simply blocked but quietly removed from search results and displays.  It will also block comments which might contain bad language and explicit content.

Next in line is Google and there’s a handy way to block explicit images, videos and adult sites from the search results and one that has been especially popular in France.  It’s called SafeSearch and you can activate it from the settings page.  In fact a better way is to ensure that your children have a Google account when they search and then activate the @Lock Safe Search’ setting which will ensure that the feature is always turned on.

Of course all these settings and filters are not perfect and you shouldn’t expect them to keep your children completely isolated from adult content online. Parental supervision will always be required to some extent and engaging with your children when they use the net is a vital activity.  The reality is that some kids especially older ones may be much more tech savvy than their parents and will bypass these restrictions.  Children in many countries are skilled in using technologies like a USA proxy for example to bypass online blocks on sites like Hulu and Pandora – source – www.proxyusa.com.

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