This post on internet safety for kids was sponsored on behalf of Net Nanny via One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.
Our main desktop computer is on its way out, prompting us to buy (or rather my husband to assemble) a new computer so that we can better work from home. We want to figure out what the big issue is with it so we can pass it onto our almost six year old twins daughters so they can use it to play educational games, watch videos, TV shows, look up information, and so on.
However, our daughters have not had access to the internet before.
Yes, we’ve streamed videos for them, looked up information in front of them, scrolled through our Facebook and Pinterest feeds, browsed maps, and so on. But, they haven’t really accessed the internet freely or on their own, including using online educational websites.
All it takes is for them to click on some dumb ad accidentally or not realize that the cartoon clip isn’t actually for kids or to goof around and type in something inappropriate accidentally, and whammy – they are found facing inappropriate content far too early.
My husband and I are huge fans of the internet and use it frequently throughout the day. Email, Facebook, Pinterest, Yahoo News, Blogging, Google+ Hangouts, Youtube videos, maps, banking, messaging – we use it all often. The internet is a fantastic tool.
But the internet contains terrible things as well, namely graphic images, pornography, and violence.
I want my precious young children to stay as far away from these foul uses of the internet as they can. We highly value internet safety for kids.
At their age, most of what they would come across would be accidental, in large part because they are still learning how to read and write. They wouldn’t realize what they were clicking on or misspelling. And those innocent mistakes could cost them a lifetime of woes.
It’s why my husband completely disabled all internet access on the iPad. Our children only occasionally use the iPad to play some educational apps and games but we were already having issues from that.
Before we disabled the internet, they sometimes clicked on a large ad showing up within a game (thanks Angry Birds), click on it, not know what was going on, click on something else, not know how to exit and click something else again. When I ask what they are doing, I found them on some random website!
I do not like that at all. It kinda freaked us out.
With the internet turned off, the ads no longer load. Sneaky aren’t we?
We recently tried out some educational subscription boxes that come in the mail, ones like Junior Explorers, Little Passport (which we just renewed), and Green Kid Crafts, all of which encourage you to head online to learn more. (Green Kid Crafts is my favorite – see my review to learn why and find a special discount code).
While I will need to help them get to the website, I don’t really want to be hovering over their shoulders the entire time they are exploring a website. But, I also don’t want them given carte blanche to a website on the internet.
Net Nanny – Online Internet Filter
That’s why I am excited we were able to try out an internet filter Net Nanny, the #1 rated parental controls software, that can be used on PCs as well as on iOS products. This means our kids can safely browse the web on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (if we had all those) because we are on the Net Nanny Family Protection Pass. It’s perfect for internet safety for kids.
There are some pretty awesome features about NetNanny that I really like:
- You can set filter 18 different categories to block, warn, or allow for view.
- You can block pornography.
- They have a time management feature, which I can see being very beneficial with older children. You set the total number of Internet hours in a day for specific users or set specific times of the day when your child can be online (i.e. not during dinner). You could even set this up for yourself if you need help disconnecting.
- You can censor offensive language on websites by replacing the words with character symbols.
- NetNanny offers Social Media Monitoring: protect kids from online threats by monitoring activities related to your child’s “friends,” cyber bullying, sexual predators, privacy concerns, and reputation-damaging pictures or videos.
The Family Protection Plan allows you to download the software on five separate devices, and is compatible with Mac OS, Windows, Android, and iOS.
Every family member can set up their own profiles and customize settings, and there are no limits to the number of profiles you can create for each computer. You will receive reports and mail alerts about your family’s online activities, and can check usage reports and change your child’s profile settings from any computer with internet access.
If you want to try it out, I have a special promo code for you! Use code FAGANS30 to get 30% off any Net Nanny product. The promo code is only good through March 31, 2016 though!
So far we have enjoyed their software to keep our children protected while using the internet. The internet is a great tool that I want them using, especially to help further their learning! As a homeschooling family, it’s pretty priceless.
But, I don’t want the nasty side of the internet to negatively affect them. Ever.
What do you use or do to keep kids safe online? Is internet safety for kids important to you?