It’s a jungle out there!
And no, I’m not talking about your office or the metro you live in where survival is so hard. I’m talking about the Internet!
While the Internet can have numerous benefits, it comes with some scary downsides for those who cannot judge how to use it. Children are typically vulnerable to what they see and hear. The Internet can be a terrible place for children, where their identities can be stolen, they can be misguided to follow some risky, life-threatening challenge, they can be baited by child molesters or kidnappers, their images can be distorted or modified to shame and humiliate them, etc.
How then do you as a parent ensure that your child uses the Internet only for connecting with trusted friends, learning something new (like a new language), to get additional information about her studies, or something that will benefit her career in future?
Completely banning your child from using the Internet is not the way to go. Kids will always be curious about what you ban and the reason behind it, which will only make them want to use the Internet by hook or by crook. Telling them about only the “good” things on the Internet and asking them to avoid the “bad” stuff may not help. When you are the parent of a child, you must think on behalf of your child and understand the dangers and pitfalls of not doing so.
What will help is if you can filter out the inappropriate content for your child on your own, so that you can sleep in peace knowing some fraudster is not chatting with your child putting all sorts of wrong ideas into her head.
Pic Credit – Unsplash
You may have to become something of a CID to find out what’s going on in your child’s life and ensure she is not getting into trouble. Ignore that small voice in your head that says you are overreacting. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your child’s safety and well-being. So what if your neighborhood aunty is making you out to be a joke and your child’s friends are treating you like Evil Knievel! What’s important is you are doing your job as a mom or dad and protecting your child.
A computer scientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Brian Levine, along with his team, has built a website called the App Danger Project, which determines if an app is safe or unsafe for a child. according to an article on MSN news. The AI-powered tool mainly focuses on social media apps for mobile phones. Keeping the Internet safe for kids is a priority worldwide.
I’m pleased that Blogchatter, a community for bloggers based in India, has launched a new kit called Happinetz that helps parents filter out inappropriate content for their kids.
What is Happinetz?
Happinetz is a safe ‘Internet for kids’ box that connects to your home router wired or wirelessly. Once connected, it creates a separate WiFi, which filters out age-inappropriate Internet and helps you set screen time schedules for devices connected to this WiFi.
Happinetz continuously monitors more than 110 million websites and apps and is preconfigured to block more than 22 million adult and unsecured websites.
Monitoring your child’s Internet usage without hovering over her shoulder all the time will make it possible for you to keep an eye on your child’s Internet activity without seeming too strict.
For more on Happinetz’ features, please visit this website.
This post is a part of Happinetz – Safe Internet For Kids.