Protecting our children online is very important and there are a few free things that can be done to control home viewing. There are also good advice sites about how to talk to your children about safely accessing the net inside and outside the home – as a cyber psychologist said on Radio 1 recently, “What is seen can’t be unseen”.
Tips for safer surfing:
- Keep the computer viewing in a public place at home.
- Turn on Youtube ‘Parental Settings’ (free) Parental settings can be switched on and locked on. Click here for 1 min long youtube video showing you how to do it.
- Set Google Safe Search (free) Click here to find out how to turn this on to block explicit results
- Download safer browsers ... www.duckduckgo.com is safer than others, and keeps browsing private, but still doesn’t stop children finding stuff they shouldn’t.
- [This browser is the default browser on the Raspberry Pi s.]
- Using Virgin TV & Broadband? .. click to find out how to set their parental controls.
- Timer Plug (€6) Have a family meeting to decide how many hours wifi time the household might run best on each day. Then set the timer plug, plug the modem into it, and plug this into the socket. The modem will then switch itself on and off automatically according to the hours set on the timer plug. Meet again to reassess its value and timetable. (idea adapted from ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families’ by Covey).
- Install a personalised software filter
Connect the devices to an app which sets up personalised filters for various devices in the household – for example iKydz , a Wicklow based startup (€99). This uses the Google Safe Search and CIA filters.
The USA app Cynja allows you, as a parent, to control and monitor your child’s use of social apps, web, and more. A subscription to their weekly comic books for children help them learn more about the internet in a fun way.
Have you wondered how much screen time is ‘good’ time? Advice for parents on this and more can be found on the Irish site, www.webwise.ie.
Campaign: help promote digital rights for under 18s by signing up on online to IRights.
“IRights is a civil society initiative that seeks to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people (under 18) by delivering a universal framework of digital rights, in order that young people are able to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.”
– as heard on Radio 1, August 2015.