Being a parent isn’t for the weak willed. Between riding the emotional rollercoaster of the tween and teen years and getting youngsters to baseball and softball practice, you hope that your home is a safe space for them to just be kids.
But that’s where the real challenge begins. The schoolyard drama, bullying and worse can follow them home on the internet. “In their bedroom” and “totally safe” aren’t the same thing anymore.
Online games like Roblox and Fortnite, as well as social media apps like TikTok, can open doors that you might think are secured with a padlock. But parents are becoming more vigilant than ever to what children are being exposed to on the internet.
Luckily, there are more and more ways to monitor and filter harmful messages from reaching your kids through the internet. Here are some easy ways to keep your family safe online.
Today’s internet parental control options are much stronger than just a few years ago. Managing access to various content can often be done through your home internet router. These tools allow you to keep dangerous websites safely outside of your home network.
Different devices offer varying ranges of control. With the C Spire Smart WiFi system, for example, parents have four easy-to-use content filtering categories—No Limits, Kid Appropriate, Teenager Friendly and No Adult Content—to make controlling access to harmful online areas easy. These categories can be configured for a specific location, person or device. You can even put a user in time out or freeze access at certain times, such as for scheduled homework, chores or bedtimes.
Securing your home
It’s easy to have a “set it and forget it” attitude toward your home internet network. A lot of households never even change the name or password from the default password printed on the side of the WiFi router. That’s an easy mistake to fix.
Default passwords are meant to be changed. Hackers know this. Not changing the password is like buying a home but not changing the locks. If someone breaks your WiFi password, they have access to every device on the network.
Then there are the people you willingly let on your network: Guests.
In the past, you could create a separate WiFi login for guest users. That seemed to make life easy, but often doing so created a parallel network broadcasting its own beacon from your WiFi, which could interfere with your main SSID and choke half of your WiFi capacity. Adaptive mesh WiFi, though, allows you to maintain a strong single network while doling out user-specific passwords, with their own security settings, for each of your guests.