Today, children rely on the internet to do all kinds of things: Watch videos, use social media, and complete schoolwork. Even though the internet is a fantastic tool and resource, it exposes children to various dangers. These dangers include predators, hackers, catfishers, scammers, and more. That is why it is crucial for parents to use web browser parental controls on their child’s devices and teach them the basics of staying safe online.
Web Browsing 101
Web browsing refers to anyone who uses the internet to conduct searches and visit websites. Typically, kids access the internet to:
- Search for things on search engines like Google.
- Watch videos on YouTube.
- Use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- Conduct schoolwork research and complete tasks.
- Video chat with friends and family.
- Play online video games.
Online browsing can be done from any internet-enabled device including phones, tablets, and computers. The most popular browsers used today are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.
Web Browser Parental Controls
All web browsers offer parental controls, privacy and security settings that can help to ensure the safety of kids online.
- SafeSearch: Filters out adult and sexually explicit content online.
- Google Family Link App: Can be used to oversee and manage your child’s app use, set screen time limits, track a device’s GPS location, and remotely lock a phone. You and your child must have a Google account to properly use this.
- Browser Add-Ons: Mozilla Firefox provides access to many add-ons that could be used to filter out inappropriate content and block websites. Torrent Control, BlockSite, and Porn Blocker are just some of the add-on options.
- Microsoft Family Account: Through Microsoft, you can create accounts for your whole family, including your children. By doing so, you can manage and restrict their account and settings.
- App & Game Limitations: You can limit what apps and games your child has access to based on their ratings. You can also add apps and games to the Never Allow list that you don’t want them to ever use.
- Internet Filtering: You can block access to inappropriate and specific websites.
- Content Restrictions: In the Content Restrictions parental controls, parents can limit adult websites or only allow their kids access to specific websites they input.
7 Browsing Safety Tips
Only Visit Legitimate Websites
When browsing online, always make sure you are visiting legitimate, well-known websites. If you don’t recognize the brand or site, don’t visit it without doing further research.
Avoid Websites That Begin With “HTTP”
Websites with “HTTPS” in the URL are secure for people to visit. They are set up with SSL certificates that encrypt the site connection and data. On the other hand, websites with “HTTP” aren’t encrypted, making users vulnerable to online dangers and hackers.
Don’t Click On Links Sent From Strangers
Even if a person seems friendly, don’t click on any links sent by strangers via social media, messaging, or email. Often, these links are sent by hackers or scammers looking to compromise a device or account.
Browse In Incognito Mode
Many web browsers like Chrome include a way to browse online privately. Often referred to as Incognito Mode, this mode prevents prying eyes from seeing your online browsing history and activities, keeping your personal information private, and disabling cookie tracking. However, your information may still be available to the websites you are accessing.
Make Sure The Browser Is Updated
Just like your personal devices, web browsers often come out with updates. These updates may include a variety of things such as security patches and features. Making sure your browser is up to date is essential to help prevent hackers from accessing it.
Ensure That Browser History Tracking Is Enabled
One of the ways parents can see their child’s browsing activities is by checking their browser history. However, there are ways to turn this off in the child’s account settings. Ever so often, check that their history tracking is enabled.
Only Connect To Private and Secure Wi-Fi Networks
A Wi-Fi connection is needed to use the internet. However, not all connections are secure and open up users to being exposed to hackers and malware. To ensure that you are browsing online privately, only connect to private connections via your home network or mobile hotspot.
If you are looking for other tools to oversee your child’s internet use, consider using Highster Mobile Phone Monitoring Software.