THE BLOG

Parental Protection in the Digital World

02/12/2014 13:51 GMT | Updated 01/02/2015 10:59 GMT

The number of internet-connected devices in your home is forever growing and at a rapid pace - in fact, the number of mobile devices is soon set to exceed the world's population. And, it's no longer just laptops, computers and mobile devices that connect to the internet. Our games consoles, smart meters, smart TVs and even fridges are now being built with connected capabilities.

Of course, with so many devices connected to the same WiFi network in the home, we can face the difficulty of maintaining high speeds and good performance for the whole family - especially as we add even more connected items to the mix. However, this isn't the only concern when it comes to the increase in connected devices in the home.

In our increasingly 'always on, always connected' lives, if not supervised and managed well, it can mean our children have access to more online than we'd like to think. But it's not just that they can view or watch inappropriate things...

Can you always be sure what your kids are up to online? For example, did you know that if your child is connected to the internet on a games console, they can actually play against anyone, anywhere in the world - even engaging with strangers on a live web-chat? So it's not just a case of monitoring your child's internet use on the family computer - you also need to consider their mobile phones, tablets and consoles. In our increasingly connected homes, it's important to encompass all devices that are internet enabled into our parental supervision and control plans.

Keeping your kids safe online doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds though. It's easier than you think for any parent no matter your level of technical understanding. Tips on how to do so are well publicised and communicated, however there's an additional layer of security that can get overlooked.

The advances in technology actually now allow you to set restrictions on the type of websites your children can access - this can be done through a combination of both hardware and software. For example, WiFi routers can now be controlled through an app, providing live parental controls, allowing parents to set time parameters on when certain content is restricted from. Software is also available to block specific web pages with adult content, providing you peace of mind that your children stay safe when browsing the Internet

This simply touches the surface in the world of parental controls in the ever-growing sphere of the internet. Obviously educating and talking to your kids is a good place to start but it's important to remember that there is technology out there that can help you along the way.