5 tips to help you keep track of your kids’ online activities
Keeping tabs on your kids’ online activities and snooping into their internet lifestyle may seem more like you’re prying into their privacy, no doubt. But trust me, with the way the internet is today, that is precisely what you want to do.
Today, the internet is home to as many honest users as it is to cyber crooks and scammers. Not to mention that a lot of sexual content and cyberbullies are now crawling the internet too.
So, leaving your kids to dive head-on into all these without any guidance or monitoring might harm them more than you trying to pry into their affairs.
With that said, here are some tips you can use to track your kids’ online activities.
Use the apps they’re using
The best way to know what your kids are doing online is to be on the same apps, websites, or platforms that they are. Not only will this give you an insight into what the app is all about, but it will also allow you to snoop on their posts, catch a glimpse of their updates, and know exactly what they’ve been up to.
According to a recent survey by GuardChild, 43% of teens said that they would change their online behavior if their parents were watching them.
Did you know why these kids have this perception? The reason is that they know that with their parents’ eyes hovering over them, they can’t afford to post things or join groups that are against their parents’ values, lest they risk their ire.
So if you want to keep tabs on your kids’ online activities, the first place you really want to look at is where your kids go online.
Know who their online friends are
There’s nothing snoopy about looking up who your kids are hanging out with online. And by looking up, I don’t mean searching for their random Facebook friends or Twitter followers. Instead, you should look at the people that comment the most on their posts, who they rapport with the most on social media pages, and the type of conversations they tend to hold with people.
Knowing who your kids’ friends on the internet are can help you protect your kids from scammers, bullies, and rippers, many of whom pose as real pals on many internet platforms.
You’ll likely find these types of people on online gaming sites, relationship apps, Instant messengers, and other teen-friendly apps.
Use monitoring apps and software
There are so many apps out there today that lets you track every one of your kids’ activities on the internet. Do you need to see who their friends are? Do you wish to track how frequently they come online? Or maybe you’d like to know how long they stay online?
Stress no more because there is an app for all you need to know. And you just have to download it on your own mobile device to use it. For example, tracking apps such as the Spy Phone app helps parents track GPS, contacts, and apps installed on your kids’ phone. With this you can know all about your kids location at all times, get to know who they have as friends on their contact list and catch a glimpse of the types of apps they use.
Set internet rules and regulations
Different age may require a different set of monitoring rules and regulations. But certain things can stay the same regardless of your kids’ age. For instance, you can restrict the use of PCs to a specific area in the house and at certain times of the day so that once that time passes, no one is allowed to use or move their PCs from the set location. You can also make mobile phone rules to limit when and how mobile phones are allowed in the house. Parents can even do a spot check on their child’s devices.
Speak with them regularly
While it is important to monitor your kids from afar – by checking out their friends and some of the things they do online – it is even more important to speak with them regularly about the various online threats that are there.
Sit them down once in a while and talk to them about the things they watch and read online. Let them know the risks they face by joining online communities and making virtual friends.
Speak with them about the latest online trends, so they know that you are aware of what is happening in the online world and you aren’t just speaking out of paranoia.