With most of the country’s schools moving to remote learning for at least part of the past year and a half, the use of technology in schools has dramatically increased. According to a recent poll, about 90% of public school students have now been issued a personal laptop or tablet, as opposed to 49% prior to the pandemic. For many, this was the next best option during the loss of in-person learning, but for others, it has sparked growing concern about just how much time children are spending in front of a screen, and what they have access to on their devices. When it comes to the devices used in your home, here are the top five reasons you can and should use parental controls to manage your kids online activity.
#1 The Search Engines: Have you ever started to type in a question on Google and been surprised at the auto-fill suggestions? Even a sentence starter such as “what is the…” can yield some toe-curling results. With parental controls, you can block adult images and text so that your little ones don’t stumble across an image they can’t unsee.
#2 Block Risky Video and Online Gaming Features: No matter where you fall on the video game debate, it’s likely that your kids will be playing them at some point, even if they are just of the educational variety. But, some of these games have risky features like allowing strangers to message your child while she is online.
#3 Cyber Etiquette and Safety: While this may not have been the case for us growing up, our children have to learn a whole new set of ethics and etiquette which may be different than the rules we learned for in-person interactions. Our children may be too young, or may not yet understand the risks of disclosing too much information online such as their full name and address.
#4 Online Reputation: The great social media dilemma: In the past, kids used journals and diaries to write their inner thoughts and share their secrets. These usually stayed hidden under a mattress, but with the advent of social media, this has all changed. Adolescents may not fully grasp the importance of using caution about what they publish online, as much of this content cannot be scrubbed once posted, and can lead to harm if it gets into the wrong hands.
#5 Limit screen time: As we mentioned earlier in this post, the amount of time children are spending on screens during the school day has dramatically increased as a result of the pandemic. Because of this, many parents are feeling greater pressure to limit their children’s screen time at home. With parental controls in place, you can set consistent time limits on devices that your kids will acclimate to.
Maybe you’re eager to get started implementing parental controls at home, but you don’t know where to start. Or you tried, but got confused by the process? Fortunately, there are trained professionals ready to help you set your mind at ease. Contact us today for a consultation about how to get your kids safely engaging with technology in your home.