Online Child Safety FAQ's
Is it better to monitor my kids or to educate them about online risks?
Your children have to be taught the appropriate ways to behave online, even if you decide to monitor their behaviour. Your child must know what not to share or do and the consequences of not doing so. If you do monitor you must ensure your child’s privacy is not violated and you regularly talk to your child about their online habits.
Will using Bosco or monitoring my child's online behavior damage the trust in my relationship with my child?
Internet access or not, having a solid relationship with your child is essential to stay in the loop and be aware of what is going on in your child’s life. Over monitoring your child’s phone can severely damage the relationship you have with your child.
The most common strategy is a method of restrictive mediation, where parents place rules and limits on a child’s online activities. Examples of rules include setting limits on screen-time or the types of content deemed acceptable for viewing.
Although this method intuitively seems to be a sound parenting technique to keep children safe online, research suggest that “control - based” parenting through restrictive mediation may have negative effects, causing children to take more risk-seeking behaviours, such as becoming friends with strangers on social networking sites.
An alternative and also popular approach to monitoring a child’s behaviour online is that of surveillance. Here, parents utilise spyapps to monitor their child’s activity without the child being aware their behaviour online is being scrutinised. These apps not only have prompted renewed debate around issues such as children’s privacy and parental rights and responsibilities, but also about the potential negative impact on trust in the parent/child relationship.
Should I change my approach to online child safety as my child gets older?
The internet can be amazing for so many things but it has a very dark side that can grasp those who are not mature enough to handle it. The balance shifts between parental control and child autonomy as children get older.
What should I monitor on my child's phone?
The internet has brought dangers into the home and made them more accessible to our children. Children now have to deal with the following risks:
Online predators and Bullying – It is easier to protect your child from predators when you are the one driving them to and from school and checking their whereabouts but with studies showing children spending up hours online daily, an online predator can easily build a relationship with your child without you knowing.
Over sharing – From passwords to home address, inappropriate photos and videos, your child can send out any media into the world and potentially leading to serious consequences.
Sexting – Talking to someone from behind a screen can make anyone bolder, including a shy and awkward child, thus making it far easier for them to start sexting.
Exposure to inappropriate content – The internet gives children the same independence as adults but you will want to keep your child away from pornography until they are mature enough to be able to cope emotionally with the content.
Dangerous apps – You might have heard the names of some social media apps while some of these apps help your child communicate with friends, some encourage anonymous communications and can put your child at danger by talking to strangers online and being vulnerable to grooming activities.