The coronavirus diseases have affected millions across the world. It has severely impacted almost every field, including schools, and caused them to close down for a good number of months. Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, all schools were ordered to shut down for a few months and shift to online learning.
With daily lectures and classes being shifted to online, kids are using technology and spending more time on the internet than ever. They attend their classes, listen to lectures, and complete their assignments online. Apart from that, they also carry out their regular online activities such as playing games, chatting with friends, watching movies, and using social media.
Being connected with others on the internet has helped kids and teens not get impacted by the new normal lifestyle that encourages them to stay in-doors for an indefinite time. However, it has also made them come across many challenges and risks that exist in the online world. Using a good parental control solution can help parents minimize the potential online risks for their kids.
Protecting your kids from the novel coronavirus outside and from the potential dangers that the internet has to offer can be quite challenging. It’s not easy to protect your kids from all these things. However, a few effective ways can help you keep your kids safe while they attend their online classes during the pandemic.
Develop an Open and Honest Communication
The first thing you can do is develop open and honest communication with your kids. You need to allow your kids to feel easy and comfortable around you so they can walk up to you if or when they face any issue online.
You should teach your kids about the good and bad side of the internet and social media. You should know who they are communicating with and how. They should also be able to recognize the signs of different online threats that lurk on the internet so they can keep themselves away from them.
In case your kid ever experiences something bad on the internet, they should be encouraged to tell you about it immediately. You should be alert of your kid’s behavior and notice if they are showing any differences in their attitude. You can also establish some technology rules for your kids on how, when, and where they can use the digital devices.
Spend Time with Your Kids Online
You can sit with your kid and spend time with them on the internet together. You can teach them about having positive and safe online interactions with others. Since the outbreak, more people have been connected to one another through online platforms. This could be an excellent opportunity for you to teach your kids about having valuable online interactions with others.
There are several sources on the internet that may spread negative or wrong information about the virus as well as other things. You can help your kid recognize the genuine sites from where they can read the information about the COVID-19.
Similarly, you can explore social media sites with your kids, check the privacy settings, and help them create accounts there while maintaining privacy from strangers and cyberstalkers. You can also help your kid identify age-appropriate apps, games, and movies/TV shows so they can spend time online safely.
Promote Healthy Online Habits Among Kids
While your kids need to stay on the internet for quite some time, you need to encourage healthy online habits among them. You need to encourage your kids to behave decently while spending their time online. You should teach them to be kind and respectful to their class fellows and teachers during online classes and video calls.
You should also teach them the proper etiquette to sit during an online class. Taking a class from home does not mean your kids have to be in their sleepwear and join the video calls from their bedroom. They need to be dressed in proper attire and sit on a proper computer desk while attending their online classes.
Instead of letting your kids watch movies, chat with their friends, and play games online, you should encourage them to engage in healthy online habits such as reading e-Books, watching informational movies, and using educational apps.
Use Parental Control Apps to Protect Kids
Since your kids have to attend online classes for some time, it is better that you start using technology to protect them from harmful risks that they may come across on the internet. You can install the best parental control software on their device to monitor and control their device usage and to protect them from online threats.
You should also install antivirus software on your kid’s device so it remains protected from any sort of malicious malware. Also, it is important to turn on the parental controls and privacy settings on their devices as well as the social media apps they are using.
Enabling safe-search on their web browsers and putting on parental controls on their Google Play Store and Apple store is one of the best ways to keep them away from harmful material on the internet. By doing this, you can provide a safe and healthy online environment to your kids while they attend their classes.
On the other hand, you should also teach your kid to never provide their personal information to anyone online. Always check your kid’s social media accounts to see how much information they have shared with others. Enable privacy settings on their social media and email accounts so strangers cannot reach out to them.
You need to bear in mind that COVID-19 is not going anywhere any time soon. The vaccine is still not been launched yet. Until the government and authorities decide to reopen the schools and other educational institutions, kids need to stick with online learning. Therefore, if you want your kids to use the internet without any fear of stumbling upon any online threat, you need to take all the necessary precautions and use the right digital tools.