As the parent of a digital native, understanding the internet and its accompanying risks is crucial. With technology rapidly advancing, children have access to a world of information and opportunities online. While this can be beneficial in many ways, it also exposes them to potential dangers, such as cyberbullying, online predators, and inappropriate content. As a parent or guardian, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about the good and bad parts of the online world to ensure that your child is safe while surfing the web. By understanding how the internet works and what threats exist, you can take proactive steps to protect your child from harm and help them navigate the online world confidently, responsibly, and safely.
Cyber parenting is a critical aspect of modern-day parenting. Establishing clear rules and boundaries around your child’s use of technology, including digital devices, social media, and online games is the first step to proactive digital safety. Set limits on screen-time and establish healthy guidelines around age-appropriate content and online behaviour.
Monitoring online activity (whilst still maintaining a decent level of privacy) can help keep track of your child’s digital doings, including social media accounts and web browsing history. Be aware of the apps they are using and who they are interacting with online. CyberSharp Protect, powered by Bark Technologies, is an all-inclusive digital monitoring platform that runs in the background and helps to ease the stress of physical device checks. You can use the built-in parental controls to limit access to inappropriate content and block unsuitable websites, as well as set screen-time schedules.
Create an open and supportive environment where your child feels comfortable talking to you about their online experiences. This means creating a space where there is zero judgement. Encourage them to come to you with any concerns or issues they may have, and promise that you won’t get angry, but rather try and find solutions together. Be a role model for responsible digital behaviour. Set an example by displaying healthy digital habits, like limiting your own screen-time, respecting others’ privacy online, and following good online etiquette.
You can utilize all the parental controls in the world, but ultimately a lack of digital literacy and cybersafety education will end up being detrimental to the safety of your child. Teach your child about online safety and common digital risks, like cyberbullying, grooming, and digital scams. Help them understand the risks of sharing personal information online and how to recognize and respond to cyberbullying.
By setting a good example and engaging in healthy cyber parenting practises, you can help ensure your child’s safety and well-being in the digital world. Cyber parenting requires vigilance and commitment, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding and positive experience for both you and your child.