Keeping Kids Safe Online

Keeping Kids Safe Online

We begin our post today with some grim local news. WCPO reported today that Goshen Local School District's school board president has resigned after video surfaced of him attempting to meet up with an 11-year old girl. You can click the link above to get the details of the story; it wouldn't be responsible for us to belabor it here. Jake Ryle, the reporter assigned to the story, goes on to discuss some tips for keeping children safe while on the internet.

We figured we would take this opportunity to offer our own tips and advice for keeping children--whether they're your own or children you're otherwise responsible for--safe while connected to the web. This was more straight forward in the past when most households were constrained to accessing the internet on a single computer. But the proliferation of Wi-Fi compatible smart-phones and other devices has made keeping your kids out of dangerous situations more complicated. Luckily, there are some effective measures you can take to help them stay safe.

Internet Safety Tools

There are a variety of products out there to control your children's internet access. Unfortunately, there are going to be some up-front costs when it comes to guaranteeing your family's security, but we think the trade-off is worth it. PC Mag has an excellent write-up on the some of the better safety products on the market.

Whatever product you end up going with should have, at the very least, certain basic features. The first is content control. This allows you to block websites that act as vectors for either dangerous (or inappropriate) content or as hubs for malignant online communities. Many programs allow you to block entire categories of websites or blacklist specific sites to prevent your kids from accessing them.

Next, the product should allow an administrator to track the different devices connected to a network. That way you can monitor your kids' internet usage and check to see if anyone is piggy-backing (i.e. sneaking) onto your network. This feature also often gives you the ability to track where you kids have gone online.

Depending on the sorts of devices your kids are using, you may also need to invest in control apps for phones. These allow you to control and limit your kids' usage of particular apps. What's more, many parental control platforms allow you to set time limits on device usage. That way, even if your kids are generally safe online, they won't be staying up late into the night playing Candy Crush or watching movies.

Some other helpful features include being able to monitor and block text messages and contacts on smart phones, two-factor authentication to ensure that strangers aren't getting into your family's devices and VPNs, which prevent hackers and other bad actors from learning your devices' IP addresses.

Even though we've focused mostly on safety measures as they relate to families, there is overlap between online security for businesses and online security for homes. In fact, PC Mag has another article in which they detail the ins and outs, as well as some recommendations, for end-point security in offices. If you need help learning more about end-point security, content controls or other forms of monitoring, Titan Tech has your back. Give them a call today for more information.

And stay tuned for more tech news.