Kids and harmful web content: managing the risks

The recent removal of harmful ads on YouTube has added to the growing concerns over what kids are being exposed to when using the internet.

In an age when young people are spending more time online than ever before, parents are facing an array of potential problems, including cyber-bullying, video game addiction, and exposure to content that’s not age appropriate.

With this in mind, how can parents keep their children safe on the internet?

And what tools are currently available to help them?

Content filtering software isn’t new. However, in the past, a lot of parents have either been reluctant to use it or haven’t had the tech skills needed to understand and set it up properly.

In recent years, however, more systems have become available to help parents set up parental controls.

One option is to buy a newer generation of high-speed router. These usually have parental controls pre-installed, and the basic options are usually free.

Alternatively, devices like Koala Safe, Circle with Disney, and Ikydz all allow parents to control digital devices within the home by connecting to their wi-fi router. They list the connected devices and then allow parents to set up various controls and limits.

They can set up filters based on age, which block certain content, including gambling, dating sites, explicit content, and more. In addition, parents can block specific apps and put time limits on usage.

According to Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England: “The internet can be a great resource, but it can also be the wild west for children. We wouldn’t think it was OK to drop our children off in the park at night if they were younger. In the same way we shouldn’t think it is OK for them to roam the internet without any guidance or restrictions.”

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