Safe Internet Use in Children: Top Tips for Parents

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Last Update Date: 06 May 2019

Technology is now a part of our lives. And our children are also living in the same world. Everywhere they look, they see technological products that can be connected to the internet. It's quite normal for them to be curious and to demand it. On the other hand, parents' concerns about how to get protected from the harmful content on the internet and how to use the secure internet are quite normal!

So what parents should do?

A few minutes to read this article will give you important tips to overcome these challenges.

  • What do child development experts say about the prohibitions and borders?
  • How are children protected from harmful contents of the internet?
  • How to ensure safe internet for children?
  • What are safe child sites?
  • What are reliable games and applications?

We have prepared a comprehensive content to answer these questions. Let's examine:

safe internet

Is it a solution to ban technology?

The internet for children provides content with no limits! In this definition, the absence of borders is a major danger signal, and we parents can hardly manage the situation.

Draw the borders together!

It is important to remember that prohibitions are often meaningless for children. However, prohibitions are both a matter of curiosity and a kind of attraction. Therefore, child development experts always remind that bans are not solutions.

Rather than prohibiting technological products to children, they underline the necessity of controlled usage, taking into account the requirements of the era.

As a result, it is possible to use the technology in a positive way and this is a necessity considering the requirements of our time.

How?

Ways to Protect Children from Harmful Content of the Internet

The first step in protecting children from harmful Internet content is knowing what kind of content they are exposed to. We, the more parents, the easier we can predict and prevent risk situations.

safe internet

Just like the warning on airplanes, we should first put the oxygen mask on ourselves and then our child. We, therefore, recommend that you read the following instructions carefully.

Let's see what kind of harmful content our children face?

One of the most favourite content among children is games. It is possible to access games on websites and application stores. When we leave children alone, they can use the content they want to consume without filtering.

Naturally, they apply to free services. Parents also do the same mistake from time to time!

The risk in free content providers is:

The revenue source of free services (games, apps, etc.) is usually ads. With an ad click from an innocent car racing game, kids can switch to zombie games. They may encounter advertising videos with violence and fear. They can switch to betting sites or obscene sites with a single click. The tip is open.

harmful content

Switching from a free and ad-containing application or website to another, which can be potentially harmful to children, is just a click away!

We just said, "Prohibition isn't the solution." Now we're talking about a significant risk! Then it’s the right time to share our solutions.

To meet your child's need for playing games in a healthy way, offer him the games that provide the following specifications:

Reliable Online Games

  • No Ads
  • No items of violence and fear
  • Non-exemplary behaviour
  • No online communication with other players
  • Licensed if possible
  • Trustworthy in the public sphere
  • Presented by a known (trusted) publisher

Allow your child to play games with these and similar features for a specific period of time depending on the age.

Example of Reliable and Useful Games:

MentalUP Educational Brain Teaser Game

MentalUP has lots of different intelligence games. All of these games are actually exercises. Daily exercises take about 20-25 minutes to complete. MentalUP doesn't have router ads on any website or application to other platforms!

MentalUP, which was examined by the Mental Health Association and observed to be beneficial for children, was given the pedagogical product certificate. MentalUP is used by educational institutions as educational content.

You can meet your child's desire to play mobile games with useful content such as MentalUP.

Try MentalUP!

We talked about the necessary criteria for the games, but the content that our children consume is not limited to games. Let's continue the review:

ATTENTION TO VIDEO CONTENTS!

YouTube has very useful content for children. However, there are also some contents that children should never watch.

It's only a matter of time for children to get exposed to the contents as cartoon characters that cut each other up or as MOMO and the Blue Whale.

Let's say; you have protected your child from dangerous games such as the Blue Whale. In the same way, do you protect your child also from the opportunists who want to gain audience by using such popular topics on YouTube?

For example:

We've looked at the video of a young YouTuber while investigating content that could be harmful to the Internet for children. In the video, the horrible MOMO was claimed to be a real character that lives and threatens people. We complained about this content, but there are thousands of contents like this and every day a new one continues to be added.

harmful videos for kids

The horrible MOMO legend is not real but the danger is real! For more information, see:

About The Terrible MOMO

The claim that MOMO is a living character is quite illogical for adults, but children can believe it. Then mental problems begin to get developed with the symptoms of the fear of darkness, not being able to go to the toilet alone.

We know that it is easy to say “Prevent your child from watching videos on the internet!” But we also know that it is difficult to apply. In the same way, we think of those who do not want to ban.

In this case, it is useful to suggest alternative solutions:

RELIABLE VIDEO CHANNELS

If you want to allow your child to view the videos in a contolled way, here’s some tricks you can follow:

For example, you can try “YouTube Kids” instead of YouTube. The content published in YouTube Kids is checked for children before publication. But don't forget to check what your child is watching. At the same time, don't forget to inform them about imaginary characters and tell them that these characters are not real.

You can also view the child videos app called “Jellies”. According to our research, there are no ads in this application. They only provide content that can be useful for children.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: While the YouTube Kids and Jellies applications seem to be reliable channels, according to our research, we want to remind you that every parent should do this research himself/herself and that the responsibility is in the parent.

In sum, you can offer your child reliable video channels instead of prohibiting video viewing. Of course, age-appropriate daily use should not be violated.

Attention to Applications with Online Communication!

In some online games, there is the possibility of correspondence with other players. It is equally dangerous for your child to talk to someone he does not know outside and to talk online if he is dangerous.

The real danger here is that the child is not communicating with another child! The hidden danger we can ignore is the possibility that there might be a malicious adult on the other side.

Children's emotions and thoughts can be easily manipulated. A malicious adult can mislead your child by giving him various instructions.

Applications with online correspondence have many threats from the seizure of your personal information - much worse - to child abuse!

safe kids

Not just games with online correspondence, but don’t social media accounts contain the same dangers?

Age limit for social networks

Above, we talked about the risks of applications with online communication. The same risks and even more are available in social networks.

Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the age of beginning to use social media announced by ICTA. According to ICTA, children should not create a social media profile before the age of 13 years.

Practical Tips on Preventing Safe Internet Environment for Children

  1. Always communicate with your child. If you are not an authoritarian parent who shakes a finger all the time and if you do not suppress the child, he/she will share more with you. If your child is comfortable enough to consult you in case of suspicion, you will be aware of the potential dangers.
  2. Tell your child the difference between imagining and the truth. Explain that he/she should not be afraid of the scary/ugly characters that may appear on the Internet and should close the content that he/she does not like.
  3. Explain that the applications that you can communicate with others in voice or in writing are not suitable for them. In normal life, if you know that you should not talk to people that you do not know on the street, explain that the internet is no different. On the Internet, if someone who has somehow managed to communicate with him/her, remind them that they should share the situation with you without any response.
  4. Use family filters and security software. Configure your browser's sensitive security settings. Filter fear, violence, obscene content. Do not leave control after doing this. Be in constant contact with your child and wonder what you do on the Internet. She can do it when you want her to teach you. Because children often enjoy teaching adults something.
  5. Do not ignore the wishes and needs of your child. Determine daily use time instead of banning and provide reliable content to it. Consider each new game you want to download. Select which application to follow when you want to watch a video. Provide the necessary research and reliable content.
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