Comparing our own learning to ride a bike, with teaching our children to be safer online is difficult. Growing up, our parents taught us what to look out for when we first got onto our bikes. Their parents taught them. Our parents may not have even known about smartphones when we were born As parents though, we did not grow up in the same online world that our children now need to navigate. We need to consider the online road they travel on, the type of device they drive, how your child is equipped to deal with potential danger, and the type of protection we need to offer.
Keeping our children safer on the road means that we teach them the rules of the road, which signs to follow and we make sure they are wearing their protective gear, most importantly, their helmet.
Fortunately, with online safety, we also have an ecosystem that we can use to keep our children safer online. We are all in this together!
On one side of the ecosystem, there are different people who play a role. The most important of these are us, as parents, our relationship with our children, and the open conversations we have with them. If something goes wrong online, our children should know that we are their first safety net.
Equally important are the teachers at our children’s schools. They spend time with our children and have up-to-date knowledge, especially in the way our children experience the online world, how they interact with each other, and the latest trends.
We are very fortunate that we also have access to cyber-wellness experts, who publish valuable cyber-safety materials and present courses and talks on anything cyber. We also have a regime of legal experts who specialise in ICT (Information, Communication, and Technology) regulation and legislation. We can count on their support if we ever get into a situation where legal representation or advice is needed.
…while making good use of technology
On the other side of the ecosystem, we have hardware and software that can help us keep our children safer online. Our wifi routers in our homes can be configured, to only allow wifi access to specific devices, at specified hours and can also filter out inappropriate content such as pornography.
Additionally, there is a wide variety of apps available that can help you to set screentime limits, age restrictions and content filtering on your child’s device. Most devices (whether Android- or Apple-based) have some of these settings built-in, but you can also use free, easy-to-set-up apps such as Google family link to enable this.
FYI play it safe – at the center
We all know technology changes extremely fast, and we also know our tweens and teenagers are smart… That’s why, at the center of the ecosystem, FYI play it safe adds the ultimate comfort to parents.
FYI play it safe monitors the actual contents of every single app your child uses. Whether your child is doing a google search, chatting with his online gaming friends in a chat room, or using social media. As a parent, you don’t have to read through thousands of messages to really know what’s going on. FYI play it safe does that for you and will alert you if your child is exposed to a potentially harmful situation. Monitoring includes signs of cyberbullying, depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation, when they talk to strangers or predators, or if they engage in adult content such as pornography, sexting or any form of drugs.
Be the cyber-smart parent. FYI play it safe is the one app no parent should be without. Download the app at www.fyiplayitsafe.com and follow the easy three-step sign-up process to start your free 7-day trial.