There is no doubt that internet can be a great educational tool for kids. However, it is not without its dark side too. As a modern parent, it is your responsibility to monitor your kids on the internet and keep an eye on their digital lives. In this article, I will provide you with a guide on how you can monitor kids and safeguard them from the potential risks of the virtual world.
Should parents monitor their children’s social media?
Nowadays, most kids are tech-savvies and their know how to use their smart devices even better than us. If you have a kid at home, chances are that your child spends long hours playing and chatting on his/her smart device and this makes you feel worried.
The truth is, internet is full of explicit, disturbing and illegal content that no parent wants their kids anywhere around it. In addition, considering the long hours kids spend with their gadgets, it would be impossible to be always around them and watch over their shoulder to make sure they are safe.
The question here is, is it really essential to monitor kids on the internet or is it a better idea to let them explore it by themselves?
The answer to this question is, as parents know this as their responsibility to protect their kids from physical and emotional harms in the real world; it is also their responsibility to do the same in the virtual world.
Social media monitoring guide for parents
So far, you have become well aware of the great necessity to monitor kids on the internet and on social media networks. The truth is, kids learn things fast and they can do things with they mobile devices that parents are not aware of. But parents shouldn’t let the age gap make kids feel emotionally apart from them.
The first and the most important tip parents need to consider is the necessity of having a healthy relationship and establishing an effective communication with their kids. Parents need to talk to their children about internet security and make them aware of the potential risks of the internet. Also, when parents and kids have a healthy relationships, parents would be the first source that kids will resort to in case of experiencing problems in the virtual world.
Here are some of other tips parents can follow if they’d want to monitor kids on the internet.
Check internet browser history
It is very important to know which sites your kids are visiting. All internet browsers save a history of all the websites you have visited and this a great way to find out what your kids are doing online. All you need to do is to the head to settings menu on their web browser and find browser history. The sites they have visited appear in reverse chronological order. However, kids can always delete web browser history, and that is why parents need to think about other ways to monitor them as well.
Do not root or jailbreak their device
Think of jailbreak or root as removing all the rules applied by Apple or Google on apps. Once you remove these restrictions, you will not only void the warranty, but you will also allow your kid to download and install apps which are not supervised by Google or Apple. One point here which is worth mentioning is that many monitoring apps require parents to root or jailbreak kid’s phone. Parents must be aware of this and try to use monitoring apps which does not require root or jailbreak.
Use your wireless router to monitor your kids
You may have talked to your kids about internet risks and you have set time limits for them, but they keep sneaking their mobile devices to their beds and they stay up late using their gadgets. Well, if talking is not the most effective way, you need to use other methods to regulate their internet access.
You can always use the wireless router to monitor your kids and the process of doing so is not complicated at all. You can refer to your router user manual.
The first thing that you need to do is to find the MAC address of the devices that you would like to restrict. You can find it in the menu particular to your router.
Now that you have the MAC address you need to find ‘Access restrictions’ usually under the ‘Internet Access Policy’ menu.
Then, you need to define access restrictions for your target devices. Depending on your type of router, you will be provided with some restriction options. You set specific date and time for the restrictions. You may as well be able to block specific websites such as YouTube for specific devices.
Install kid-friendly apps for your kids
In an effort to create a safe environment for children and allow parents to monitor kids, many social media websites try to implement age limits and restriction of content for young users. But as age limit has not always been an effective barrier to keep kids away from inappropriate content, these websites have thought of a different way.
Websites such as YouTube and Facebook have introduced a kid friendly version of their applications which are called YouTube Kids and Facebook Messenger Kids, respectively. These apps are a great help to parents who would want to allow their kids to use these two super popular social medias but they also want to be sure that their kids are safe.
Use parental control applications to monitor kids
Technology is evolving very quickly and most of us are even unable to keep up with it.There are times when we come to the conclusion that our kids are better than us at using their smart gadgets and we may feel clueless when they start talking how to use these new gadgets.
The fact that internet and social media have a dark side which can be a dangerous place for kids is a great concern for many parents. Fortunately, technology has come up with the solution for this problem and this solution is parental control apps.
If you search online for an effective child monitoring application, you will come up with a long list of apps that each of them claim they are the best. That is why you need to compare them all carefully and choose the one with fits your needs best.
One of the bests and most professional tools is Underspy application. Underspy allows you to monitor kids, employees or anyone else remotely and anonymously. Here is how you can use Underspy to monitor child’s device remotely:
- Create an account on Underspy website and buy a subscription
- Download the application and install it on your kid’s phone (The app will hide after installation)
- Login to your control panel on the website and start monitoring your child
Underspy application will leave no trace on the child’s phone and you can feel sure that they will never find out they are under your control. Another extraordinary feature of Underspy application is that you can receive WhatsApp logs without the need to root or jailbreak the target device. This is a great advantage of Underspy over other similar apps which allows parents to take complete care of their kids on the internet.
Another one of the most well-known monitoring tools on the market is mSpy application. Much like Underspy, mSpy is also needed to be installed on the child’s phone. The app will run in hidden mode and the parent can login to his/her control panel to start the monitoring process.
mSpy is known to be one of best monitoring tools, however, when compared to Underspy, it falls short in features while it offers its service for a higher price.