Keeping Kids Safe on the InternetChildren of all ages are using the internet. And I don’t know about you, but I use the internet every day for fun, learning, and to find out how to do things. As a parent, I know my kids need to learn how to use the internet safely, but I’m nervous they’ll accidentally come across inappropriate content.

In doing my own research, I’ve found some tools that can give busy homeschool moms peace of mind as they navigate the world of safe internet usage for kids.

Technology can be amazing, but it can also be risky for young children. When you’re concerned about your children’s use of the internet, you want to see what websites they’ve visited and how they’re using the computer. Here are some things you can do to monitor your kids’ internet activity:

Position the Computer Well

Keep the computer in a common area of the house with the screen visible at all times. Let your kids know that you are interested in what sites they visit so you can keep them safe. Tell them that they can come to you anytime they’re concerned about something they’ve seen, and that you will chat with them if you notice something that concerns you.

Log In Regularly

Log onto the computer your child uses to access the internet. Frequently look through the websites your child has visited in the browser history. Check out any sites that worry you, and keep communication open with your child.

List Off-Limits Sites

Create a list of websites which are off-limits without parental supervision. My kids love YouTube, but they know that they can’t click around the site without a parent because sometimes the video suggestions that pop up are very inappropriate. 

Use a Program to Help

Check with your internet provider to see if they offer a to help protect your children. If they don’t offer it for free, they may be able to make a recommendation for a free or inexpensive program.

KidZui is a browser you can download for your children to use. The browser will allow you to view the websites your child has visited. It also has other features which will protect children aged 3-12. Just like any other browser, however, your child must open it and it does not run without your child’s knowledge. The program can be downloaded for free, but it does have its limitations.

Research for Yourself

Do research yourself. There are many programs available to help you monitor your kids’ internet usage, and you’ll want to compare them. What’s best for you might not be best for the person whose review you’ve read.

Regardless of how you go about keeping your kids safe on the internet, make sure you keep communication open and let them know that you’re there for them. Kids are exposed to more and more questionable content every day, and it’s up to us – their parents – to keep them safe in both the real and cyber worlds.

They need access to the internet, and as homeschool parents we want to encourage a love of learning and discovery, but we still need to be vigilant. Know what your kids are doing online. If you start when they’re young, it will become a part of your family values and culture, and they won’t have any problems with your knowing what they’re doing online.

About the Author

Colleen KesslerColleen is a former teacher of gifted children who hoped for nice, average kids. Since things never quite work out as planned, she now stays at home to homeschool her highly gifted kids, trying desperately to stay one step ahead of them while writing about their adventures {and messes} at Raising Lifelong Learners. You can find her avoiding housework by playing on the trampoline or going for hikes with her kids. 

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