Heart racing, you somersault past the open hallway, hop over the creaky floorboard, and slip into the room. A glance at the clock confirms you have approximately fifteen minutes before your situation will be compromised. You open the laptop, and cringe. A password? Your sources have not prepared you for this! Hopefully your knowledge of the target will help you guess the password. One, two, three attempts fail. One more try…. and in!
You scan the laptop’s files, pictures, browser history, and social media profiles. All looks in order. With only seconds to spare, you close the laptop and retreat to safety. Sufficient intelligence has been gathered– at least until next month.
If keeping tabs on your teenager’s internet activity has become akin to a spy mission, you may not be protecting your family online in the most effective way. While parents can and should monitor their kids’ digital lives, spying is a different strategy that excludes many opportunities for arming kids online.
So what’s the difference? Spying is gathering information without your child’s knowledge, while monitoring is observing your child’s online activity after informing him or her that you can and will be doing so. Spying has possible ethical implications, but the real cost of spying is a lost opportunity for opening a dialogue with your kids and removing an added incentive to stay out of trouble.
Do you struggle with talking to your kids about internet safety issues like online privacy, social media, FOMO, sexting and sextortion, pornography, and internet addictions? Here’s a great conversation starter: “Kids, we are going to be monitoring your online activity and social media accounts.” We can guarantee that will get their attention! You will have the floor to educate them about the common online pitfalls and how those mistakes can impact their lives. As the conversations become more natural, your family will feel more comfortable coming to you with their questions. Perhaps best of all, you will never feel reluctant to blow your cover by bringing up something problematic you may find in their digital lives. Educating your kids about internet safety prepares them to form healthy habits that will help them be internet savvy adults.
When your kids know they will be monitored, they have more motivation to stay out of trouble. They are less likely to search for content they would be embarrassed to view with their parents, because in a way, they now view EVERYTHING with their parents! While some kids will still try to sneak past Mom and Dad’s watchful eye, implementing the right parental control software can prevent this issue. Look for a software that, like Clean Router, records incognito browsing history, allows you to add websites (including proxy websites) to a Black List, and filters every device in your home. Acclimating your kids to a monitored computer also prepares them for the workplace, where all computers will be filtered and all browsing history will be recorded.
When it comes to keeping your kids safe online, monitoring is the better way to go. An open dialogue in your home is the best internet safety tool and will prepare your kids to face the dangers of the internet as adults. When your kids know that they are being observed, they will have another reason to avoid questionable content and risky situations.
Online peace of mind isn’t just possible– it’s essential! Choose a good parental controls software, educate your kids about pornography and other internet dangers, let them know that you are watching their backs, and keep an open dialogue.
Ready to give your family the ultimate online protection?