As a parent, you want to provide your children with the best possible online experience. That means protecting them from inappropriate content and websites that could be harmful or distracting. Here is the list of sites that you may want to consider blocking on your home network.
Joining the Party: Do You Monitor Your Kid’s Digital Life?
Is your teen daughter head over heels on the Internet again? Are you suspicious about the people she is chatting with? Is it your son whose behavior is disturbing as well as his under-eye circles he has after all night online? Well, join the party – you are not the only worried parent out there!
Even though you might feel weird looking through your kid’s browser history or peeking at his phone calls and messages just in case, you should not be ashamed – reports show that most parents are doing the same, ensuring their kids are safe and sound online. Reporters have talked with parents of teens (13-17 years old) and made some curious conclusions.
A little spoiler here: even though the parental control market has been growing significantly for the past couple of years and this process will not be slowing down, the percentage of parents making use of the technology is pretty low. Only 39% of parents claim they use various forms of parental control for blocking and tracking kids’ activities on the Internet. About 16% of parents use monitoring apps to track teens’ location as well as monitor their calls and messages.
It is peculiar that as parents don’t use a lot of monitoring apps (which often have the stealth mode), they are pretty open about restricting and monitoring their kids – on the contrary, parents are regularly talking to their teen children about their media presence and rules they should follow to stay safe. In fact, 95% of parents have talked about an appropriate amount of media to consume, and 36% do this frequently. Considering the great role media plays in people’s lives (especially the younger generation), it is no surprise that 65% of parents take away their phone and Internet privileges to punish kids.
What do these numbers tell us about parenting today? First of all, it is not getting easier following years. The right tactics are not sneaking and peeking at your teen’s monitor or a smartphone all the time, but having an open and honest dialogue on what the reasons are that parents are worried about spending so much time on the Internet.
Numbers say that 92% of parents have spoken to teens about their online behavior towards others. 95% have been explaining what kind of content is appropriate for posting online. These twos are of high importance today, considering the number of traps there might be waiting for your kid at any age.
Cyberbullying is becoming widespread all over the world. It can go pretty uncontrollable online. So 59% of parents are worried about what kind of information and pictures their kids are posting, as those are usually used for hounding kids online. Another pitfall is a vast number of predators that are looking for victims on social networking sites and other resources, pretending to be someone they are not. With a number of adult content approaching kids and teens online, checking all the people your child has met online does not seem to be as ‘paranoid’ as your kid might say.
Sad but true – those predators might be your teen’s peers as well. With adults’ content being named ‘just a phase in development, the results of such risky behavior can influence your family’s reputation and safety and even deprive your child of career opportunities. Both parents and teens should always remember – if something ever goes on the Internet, it will remain there forever.
So, as the bottom line, it is worth noting that leaving your kid be is the most careless thing you can do. You are not alone in your anxiety – there are millions of parents from all over the world going through the same feelings. The key to keeping your family safe is talking about real consequences and teaching your kid the right behavior online. Moreover, it should be better with your own example.
Blocking These Websites Will Make Your Kids’ Online Life Safer
Modern parents have many things to take care of to make their kids safe. One of these things involves making sure your kids don’t stumble upon some inappropriate content online. The danger of that is just too high to let the whole thing be unsupervised. Any kind of content is open to everyone on the Internet, and even if your kids are not looking for something edgy (the majority of them do, though), they can easily be exposed to it by chance. So, here are some sites’ examples to add to your block list.
Match.com, MeetMe, Tinder, etc.
You may not believe it, but a big percentage of teens use dating websites. There are many sites created specifically for teens (which are also not that safe), but the truth is that teens use dating sites for adults, as well. How would you feel if your kid was communicating and flirting with some middle-aged person? Some kids do it for fun, and some look for relationships, but either way, it is not appropriate for children to use such sites, so you should definitely add them to the list of websites to block for children.
Kink, Youjizz.com etc.
Well, this is completely self-explanatory. There are many sites with explicit content that should be forbidden for kids. And since they can easily lie about their age and watch a bunch of inappropriate videos and pictures, the best option is to block such sites.
Omegle, Chatroulette, Flipchart, etc
Teens cannot live without chatting online these days. And it is one thing when they talk to their friends. When they talk to strangers in different chat rooms, there is always a risk of getting in trouble. The majority of these chats are anonymous, and you never know who you’re going to talk to next. Be sure to find and block all the major chat rooms you can find.
There are also some video chat rooms that you should add to the list of websites to block for kids, such as Omegle or Chatroulette. Even if teens go there with the good intentions of meeting friends, there is just too much explicit content.
Poker online, addictive video games
Kids can easily fall for addictive games. That is why it is essential to block all the big sites where you can gamble or play some game for free at first and then have to pay to continue. These websites should definitely be blocked.
Snapchat, Whisper, Yik Yak, etc.
It should be solely up to parents to decide whether to allow their kids to create social profiles. However, there are some social networks worth blocking for valuable reasons. For example, the sites and apps such as Whisper, Yik Yak, and others bear many dangers for kids, including cyberbullying, online scams, etc.
Controlling your kids’ usage of the Internet today is as important as controlling their eating habits. The things they see and read online as well as the activities they get involved in, can form their character and influence their mental development. Make sure their online experiences do not involve anything similar to the listed websites.
And do not forget to block websites for children on mobile devices, too, as kids can easily go there after you forbid the sites on their computer. You can use the iOS or Android child monitoring app for these purposes. And don’t forget to explain the necessity of doing it to your kids before you block anything.