Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Children and Technology: 3 Steps to Control Their Usage

With technology developing so rapidly, it can be hard for parents to keep up and ensure their kids' activities online are safe and responsible. This is especially difficult when your kids have grown up in a tech world, and therefore may seem to be more savvy when it comes to technology. But with issues of privacy, online bullying and the effects of excessive use of technology on a child's well-being, it's important to keep on top of how engaged your child is with technology. Check out these few things you can do to control technology use and ensure safety online:

Filter Inappropriate Content

It's no secret that almost anything can be found online these days. While this can make things convenient, for a parent with a young child, it can be terrifying. Therefore, the first thing to do when controlling your child's technology use is to filter out any inappropriate content. Most wireless carriers provide this option, allowing parents to completely block pages that are unsuitable for anyone below a certain age. Doing so also makes inappropriate content disappear from search results.
Nowadays, there is usually more than one device in the household, so it's important to consider access to all these devices. Smartphones have a number of parental controls that can be used to inhibit children's access to certain content. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 allow parents to include a fingerprint lock as well as provide the ability to download a number of parent-locking apps that assist in restricting accessibility.

Restrict Usage

Another great feature that can be set up through your carrier is a governor on how often your child is using the technological devices. Not only can parents restrict when a phone is used but they can set a cap on the number of text message sent and received, as well as downloads and data usage allowed over a certain period. Parents can also set up a list of who can be contacted. What's more, some carriers will send notifications as your children are approaching their limits so you are able to keep track of how often they are using their phones and how quickly they are going through these caps.

Block Out Purchases

One of the major features of the online world is how quickly and easily you are able to purchase a variety of products and services. As a parent, however, this can be especially worrying considering card details can automatically be saved to accounts and children may therefore make a purchase without noticing how much money is being spent and what details they are revealing. To limit how much your child is spending online, a lot of carriers can offer a cap on how much is spent on downloadable material against your account. However, if you'd like your child to not spend money at all, there is also the option of completely cutting off purchases that are directly billed to your carrier, such as downloads, games, applications and ringtones.

Allowing your child to spend time on technology can provide a lot of benefits but can also impose many safety and privacy issues for the child and your family. Therefore, try following these simple steps to control the content they access, how much they use and the amount of money they spend online, so as to protect them from unwanted problems. This way, both you and your family can enjoy the online space without worrying too much in the process.

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