Internet Can Be Dangerous For Kids – Use Safeguards

Bobby shopping online

My boys are ages nine and fifteen.  Both boys own smartphones and have access to laptops. You can see my youngest above searching images for me when it was time for me to choose a design for our new wrought iron stair railing.  He was thrilled about helping me, so I set him to work online to find his favorite designs.

My nine year old uses his smartphone while at home for games and calling / texting one friend and our family.  I make sure that he takes his phone with him when he plays at his friends houses so that he can call me to let me know when he is coming home or to ask permission for something in particular if needed.  I also have a laptop that is docked in the kitchen that he sometimes uses to access school recommended educational games.  Since the computer remains in the kitchen, I am always around to peek over his shoulder.  As for the phone, we have parental settings established, but I have noticed text coming through that have to be blocked.  These text aren’t always family-friendly in nature and I do not want my son responding back to a stranger.  Yes, I block these texts, but NO, I won’t always be around to do this once these text come through. For this reason, more safeguarding must be put into place on his phone.

lawnmower phone

As for the teen, you can see his smartphone in the image above, he loves the portablility of his favorite music.  The the internet is a must for him.  He uses it for school on a nightly basis for homework and taking online quizzes for one of his classes.  He uses his smartphone to access the internet as well, some of this use even happens within the classroom.  Dictionary.com is definitely his friend, as well as many apps, such as a Spanish Speaking app since he is in his second year of Spanish.  He also uses text as well to receive school alerts about upcoming tests, quizzes, etc. along with texts from friends.  He isn’t a fan of social media, but even his basketball team gets alerts through Twitter.

It’s just a matter of time before he wants to post pictures on social media along with his friends.  Then I have to worry about the people he may meet once he starts posting on social media and getting responses back.  We all know it is fun to read and respond back to people when they comment on our favorite pictures, but as adults we know the dangers and use precaution. Yes, it’s time to take more internet precautions with the kids.  There are tons of differnt types of parental control software available, but last week my neighbor told me about her experience with her parental control software by Familoop.  She said that she really liked their real time child locator.  Since I value her opinion, I have decided to look into this program a little closer.  I would feel horrible if something happened to one of my boys due to a “new friend” they make online when I knew that this was an issue that needed to be safeguarded against.

What practices do you use with your children when it comes to online usuage?