The internet has no doubt provided us all with countless opportunities to connect, create, and learn, however, when misused or abused, it can become a very dangerous place. This often occurs when children are left to their own devices, quite literally. Therefore, it’s essential that we understand the digital world our kids are living in and are confident in our knowledge of devices, apps, games, and social media platforms.

From toddlers to great grandparents, the family affair that is digital safety requires attention from family members of all ages. It’s our job as parents to ensure our kids have a responsible and safe digital experience, so just as we teach kids to be smart digital citizens, we need to learn to be smart digital parents.

Digital parenting can be broken down into 3 main points: model, manage, and monitor.

Starting from a young age, you need to model the digital behaviour you wish you children to demonstrate. Children are very visual and repetitive learners, meaning that they’ll start to pick up on your actions and mimic them. You need to demonstrate that you can responsibly use the internet and digital devices.

You can model this behaviour for your kids by setting and sticking to screen-time schedules and adhering to screen-time limits. Portray good cyber hygiene by being present when you’re around others, putting your device down when someone is speaking to you. You can’t expect your kids to put their phones away at the dinner table if you don’t.

Once you’ve developed a set of digital boundaries, which should be discussed as a family, you need to manage your kid’s digital usage. You can either consider letting them use your social media accounts to browse the web, or you can set up accounts for them. You would obviously oversee the account and whatever content may be shared, but this allows your children to start developing their own digital identities and have a creative outlet for whatever they’d like to share with the world.

Okay, so you’ve had all the important conversations with your kids, and they now have (semi) free reign online, now what? Now comes the time for monitoring, which can seem like a tedious and daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

CyberSharp Protect takes all the hassle out of manually monitoring your family’s digital experience. The platform, powered by Bark Technologies, scans over 30 apps in the background and will alert you to any content or communications that could be considered risky, such as eating disorder content, suicidal ideation, and cyberbullying. It is highly effective whilst remaining relatively non-invasive. Your kids will still have their digital privacy, but any actions they take online that could harm them or someone else will be detected and you will be notified.

CyberSharp Protect opens doors for parents to a full platform of parental controls and digital safety monitoring. You can set up screen-time schedules and limits and will be notified if your child tries to change or bypass them. Additionally, you can disable access to certain apps and websites during designated times in their screen-time schedule, like disabling games and enabling educational websites during your kid’s designated study time.

This platform eliminates the time that would have been spent combing through your children’s devices and will alert you to things you never would’ve thought to check. It’s time to take digital safety into your own hands and provide your family with a service they will one day thank you for.