Yes, it is important to keep an eye on your child’s activities, the friends they make and the places they hang out with; but, the internet and social media where children spend most of their time has threats, too. You can do a lot to keep your children safe from the dangers lurking in the digital world and ensure that they are safe online. All you need to do is to tweak your web browser a bit. Make a few adjustments and you can rest assured that your child has safe access to the internet.
Some of the most common web browsers used in are Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. One thing you need to bear in mind is that there aren’t any universal safety settings that you can apply to your device or computer. Therefore, you will have to make some adjustments to each of the browsers to enhance their safety and ensure that your children only access age-appropriate content on the internet.
In quite a short span of years, Google Chrome has become one of the most popular web browsers. This is due to the release of Chromecast to an extent. Although it is not exactly equipped with the best parental control features, the browser can be made secure with the help of additional filters.
Let’s learn to set up the parental controls first which are already built in the browser:
- Visit www.google.com/preferences.
- You will see a box for SafeSearch at the top. This is to keep out adult content from appearing in the search results.
- Click Save after you are done.
Now you will have to create a Supervised User account on Chrome for your kid. This would help you in seeing the webpages they visit through Chrome and block them if you think are not suitable for their age. You can also restrict the account from installing any extensions and apps.
- Go to the menu and under the setting of Users, click Add Person.
- Set up your profile with a picture and name.
- Select the checkbox to control and monitor the webpages your kid accesses.
- Click Add.
- Go to the Supervised User Dashboard if you want to adjust any settings for this account.
- Click on the Permission section and click Manage.
- Select Only Approved Sites in the Allow section.
- You can block any site that you want to by adding a * before the URL,
You can lock your account so that the supervised user cannot access your information.
- Login to your profile, click Exit and Child lock
Firefox web browser allows parents/guardians to set limits to what shows appears on the Firefox browser. Firefox utilizes the computer’s existing parental controls to set a default safety mode. With this, the children are unable to adjust the browser settings themselves as it can be set through your password-protected parental controls on the computer.
The browser doesn’t come with built-in parental controls but you could make use of the dozens of add-ons. These extensions let you block websites, pop-ups and also limit the spent using Firefox. You can customize these controls with the help of these extensions. After you have installed them, you can access them in the menu’s Add-ons section.
Following are the steps you need to follow in order to enhance the security settings in Firefox:
- Find the menu on the top right corner and click on Preferences.
- Select the security tab
- Now check the boxes for:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block the reported attack sites
If your child has an iPad or an iPhone, then it is quite likely that they are using the Safari browser for web browsing. In order to control your child’s internet consumption on the iOS devices, first, you will have to enable Restrictions first. Restrictions are the same as parental controls that allow you to block access to apps.
Here is what you need to do to turn on the restrictions for Safari:
- Click on General from settings.
- Scroll down and then select Restrictions.
- Select the Enable Restriction. You will have to enter your passcode to turn it on.
- Now, you will have to select each of the app and feature that you want to apply the Restriction to including Safari.
- Another good feature is that you can also disable downloading of the new apps.
- Enter the passcode to change or disable the Restrictions settings.
As Safari browser does not block web content, you would have to do that by disabling using Restrictions.
Windows comes with a technology called Family Safety that can be set up on PCs, Windows phones and even Xbox. Family Safety lets you control theamount of time your child spends online, block particular content or website as well as prevent online chatting. Parents can also set defaults based on the age of their children. There is also the option of blocking apps and games with it.
Follow the steps to control the kind of websites your children have access to:
- Go to the Family Safety website and sign in
- Click on your child’s account
- Select the option for Web Filtering
- Choose the categories of websites your child can see
With the help of Family Safety, you can monitor how they use the internet as well as their browser history. This could assist you in making adjustments to the settings so that your child does not access adult content.
Here are some other ways to make your Internet Explorer safe.
- Enable the Windows SmartScreen as it would alert you if there is a risk of malware and phishing on a site.
- Use the Parental Controls of your Windows user account block the reported web forgeries.
It is important that you adjust the settings of each of your search engines which your children use. In order to add extra security, you could also set parental controls present within the operating system of your computer and use the tools your internet service provider offers. On the other hand, you can always monitor your child’s web browsing history and the Top 10 visited Websites with the help of Xnspy.