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How to keep the internet family-friendly

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In the digital era we live in, the internet is a wonderful thing, but can also be the ultimate night for parents to keep an eye on what their children are being exposed to. On the 9th of February, we celebrate the 18th year of Safer Internet Day all across the world. This year the theme revolved around “Together for a better internet” which focuses heavily on making cyberspace a safer place for everyone, especially for children and the younger generation.

It is of the utmost importance that children are educated from a very young age on what is safe and what not and to shield them from cyberbullying. The below actionable tips will assist parents on how to make the internet a safer place for the whole family.


1. Educate your kids about cybersecurity and online threats

It is a given that you want your children to spend time on the Net and take advantage of the endless learning opportunities that are made available, but at the same time, you want them to be safe. Children won’t understand complicated language, but ensure that you open up to them about different forms of cyberbullying, cybersecurity and then of course all the malicious sites that are out there. The more you speak openly, the easier it will be for them to identify and understand.

2. Limits, limits, limits

Uncapped internet and unlimited browsing is a wonderful thing, but it can swallow you whole and take over your life completely. It is important for parents to limit browsing and screentime. You might not be very popular at first, but as they grow older your children will thank you for enforcing a balanced lifestyle. With these limits, comes the responsibility to be very clear about what your kids can and cannot do while online.

3. Be patient, listen and learn together

Social media for one can be a very daunting space that parents find themselves in. This is after all where a lot of cyberbullying happens and children get exposed to things that parents are not even aware of. It is very tempting for parents to keep a very close eye on children’s computer, tablets or smartphones, but also be open to learning from your children. Let them teach you about social media or the latest viral trends on YouTube. This will also create a safe space for them to share everything with you, rather than hide it

4. Parental control software is your new best friend

Given the increasing number of devices kids use to connect on the Internet, it’s difficult for parents to supervise every time they’re online. Parental control apps are definitely your new best friends. These software systems are amazing for tracking what your offspring do online and gives you the ability to control any activity. If you like what you are hearing, this list will definitely come in handy!

5. Secure your Wireless network at home 

All home Wi-Fi networks are usually accessed only by members of the household, but that doesn’t mean that creepy characters can’t get unauthorised access… The better you secure your network the better. And the first step is having a very complicated password that even you have to write down to remember. We recommend having a squizz at this 12 simple, and essential steps guide that will help you enhance the security of your Wi-Fi network at home.

The moral of the story is that parents need to teach their children about cyber threats. Parents also need to “preach” online protection from malware threats and phishing attempts that usually target the innocent and uneducated minds of the vulnerable youth.


How to keep the internet family-friendly


Inge Liebenberg




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