With so much going on in our families and kids having their own computers, laptops, and other technology it’s hard to keep up. Whether it’s staying in contact with each other; protecting them from outsiders invading their computers; keeping up with ever changing technology; or being able to check on them and monitor them online.
One great program to help stay in touch with each other while everyone’s out doing their own activities is Apple's FaceTime App. My girl loves it! She chats with her best friends often and it’s great for us as it doesn't hog the phone lines! She "calls" us when she’s on a sleepover to check in
A lot of public places offer free Wi-Fi while you or your kids are out. It’s all well and good, but did you know sometimes hackers can sneak in onto your computer through these open Wi-Fi sessions? You can stop this and protect your information by using a free program called Hotspot Shield. This secures your web session and hides your IP information from prying eyes. I think this is great as you don’t want someone finding out your kid’s home addresses, school, and other contact information.
My kids watch a lot of online videos, play online games, or other user interface applications. Once in a while they come to me or their father saying the computer won’t work now. As it turns out, the computer’s version is outdated and a newer version of software has to be downloaded. It’s usually a program like Adobe Flash Player. To help the kids out, I bookmark a link on how to install adobe flash player and they can just go to it whenever they need to.
My kids, who are 14 and 16, are pretty good at censoring themselves and we trust what they’re doing online (with the occasional peek in). But if you’re unsure of where they’re surfing, who they’re talking to, or what game they’re playing you can download Familoop Safeguard which provides parents with a snapshot view of their kids’ digital friends, interests and intents. The tool is designed to identify digital threats like communicating with strangers or cyberbullying timely and help parents with protection of their kids online.
But the best way to protect your kids and their computers is teaching them about proper downloads, sharing information and proper checkups for virus scans, unwanted applications, and cookies. Do plenty of cache cleaning and install passwords so strangers or their own friends can’t hack in. Chat with them often about what they’re doing and who with.
Software technology shouldn’t replace our own instincts, but it does add a little extra peace of mind on protecting your kids online