Kids Safety 101
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Keeping Kids Safe From Explicit Content Online

We all want to keep our children safe from harm. And these days, the internet poses a safety issue our parents and grandparents didn’t have to deal with. Social media, cell phones with internet access, video games, and apps like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram are all a normal part of life now, especially for kids and adolescents.

These things can serve as positive and beneficial social outlets for kids. However, online predators and explicit content are still a big problem when it comes to the internet.

Sites and apps that offer explicit content don’t typically have effective safety measures to prevent kids from using them. Therefore, it’s up to parents to block these sites from appearing even if your child does search for or stumble upon them.

How to Block Explicit Content on Your Child’s Device

If your kids have their own tablets, iPads, laptops, or TVs, most of those devices will offer parental control options in the settings. Or, you can try downloading an app that helps you keep an eye on your children’s internet usage.

Here are a few popular apps that help parents keep their kids’ online experiences healthy and positive:

  • bark
  • Qustodio
  • FamilyTime
  • Norton
  • WebWatcher
  • Net Nanny
  • eset

To learn more about how to set up parental controls on a specific product, follow the instructions found on Michelle Crouch’s “A Guide to Parental Controls By Device.” Here, you’ll find easy-to-follow steps on how to set parental controls on an Android, an Amazon device, a Mac iOS, Windows 10, and more.

Talk to Your Tweens and Teens About Internet Safety

Parental controls aren’t as effective when your kids are older. They want autonomy, and you want to let them have freedom. So, this is the time when communication is super important. Online predators are known to groom unsuspecting, underage victims in the following way, according to Daniel Grammer in his article about Internet Safety Tips:

  • The predator earns the child’s trust through compliments, shared interests, and liking or commenting on their posts.
  • After developing a positive rapport with the child, the predator aims to determine how involved the caregivers are — if there’s little or no online supervision, they will be emboldened to escalate their predatory behavior.
  • The abuser attempts to normalize the sexual behavior he or she is seeking. For example, they might send the child unsolicited explicit images of himself/herself — or even of other children.
  • The predator attempts to achieve their goal by asking for explicit photos, meeting in person, engaging in role-play, or blackmailing the victim for financial gain.

Make sure to have a conversation with your kids about the dangers of the online world. Encourage them to come to you if they ever feel uncomfortable when using the internet.

Katy Holloway