Saturday, April 20, 2019

Some basic tips on how to make smart phones and electronic gadgets safe for kids

In a world where internet is riddled with porn and other adult contents, leaving smart phones with children can be dangerous. At any given time, they could click on a wrong link and end up accessing contents that are not appropriate for them. If we do not monitor the online activities of our kids, the smart phones and gadgets that we give them for self-engagement and entertainment may end up ruining their future. The findings from research studies tell us that the early exposure to pornography and sexually explicit contents can negatively affect the overall development of a child. It is said that those who get exposed to pornography or graphic materials at their early age lose the ability to form positive relationships with people as they grow up and can often become aggressive.

Although no parents would love to see their kids getting exposed to inappropriate contents online, it is difficult to keep our smart phones and electronic gadgets away from our kids at this age of advanced science and technology. At home, we often let our children use our smart phones to access online games or videos without much concern, but if we don’t monitor them properly, there is always a risk that they might come across videos and images that are not at all suitable for young viewers. However, while we don’t have the authority to control the types of contents that are available online, we now have at least some options to decide what types of contents we want our kids to access.

All smart phones and gadgets actually come with parental control features that enable us to re-configure the settings so that our kids can access only those contents that are appropriate for them. If we activate those features, we can definitely protect our children from the risks of getting exposed to undesirable social ills online. The following are some of the basic tips on how to make our smart phones and gadgets safer for our kids:

If you are on apple devices, you should go to Setting\General\Restrictions. When prompted, please enter a 4-digit PIN which your child cannot guess. Here, you get the options to control which icons you want your kids to see on the screen. You can turn off all those icons you don’t want your kids to access including the Safari browser, if you like. Alternatively, you also have the options to list down the websites you want to allow or block under the ‘Websites, Restricted’ option. In my case, I have blocked Safari itself after I found that my son had accidentally clicked on a porn survey link that had popped out while he was googling some wrestling games. I have now kept only YouTube since it is safer than other websites.

If you are on Android devices, you can go to Apps\Play Store\Settings\Parental Controls. Here, you will be prompted to enter a PIN code. Enter the one your kids cannot guess. After that, you can restrict access to contents by choosing each given option and selecting the rating level you find safe enough for your kids.

Besides, you can also install external apps that can help you restrict inappropriate contents for your kids. The apps such as ‘Porn Block Plus’ for IOS users and ‘Kidslox’ for Android users are some of the most commonly recommended programs that can keep your smart phones safe for your kids. With constant parental supervision, we can make sure that our kids grow up safe and healthy.

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