Shall we talk about…tablet security? A Ms. Broccoli conversation
It’s time to have a new Ms. Broccoli conversation with your children! Today, the theme of the conversation is…security on tablets and phones.
In the internet era, how can we prevent our children from coming across inappropriate content? How can we let them “surf” peacefully? Can you really control your children’s activities online? What is parental control, is it THE solution? There are so many questions that we encourage you to discuss for 30 minutes with your children. Enjoy!
Contents of the article:
- A discussion guide with your children
- The golden rules for discussion success with your children
- Some tips for securing your children’s tablets
- Ms. Broccoli’s selected reading for further subject discussion
And above all don’t forget : enjoy this pleasant moment of discussion with your children! 🙂
1-Setting parental controls on your child’s device: a short conversation guide
Remember, this discussion guide is simply…a guide! The goal is not to ask each question or follow a pre-established order! These questions are just a departure point, a pretext to allow you to bring up an important subject, which your child cannot always talk about easily. If you feel that one point in particular deserves more in-depth discussion, take the time to do it.
These questions, generic and not pertaining to the subject, are just there to help you begin a conversation! If you are “warmed up”, you may skip this step !…
- What is the best thing that happened to you this week?
- What cool things happened at school this week ?
- What do you like most about school?
- What’s your favorite memory of vacation ?
- What would you like to know how to do the most that you don’t know yet ?
- If you could write a book, what would it be about?
Questions to approach the subject…
- What are your favorite websites/apps ?
- What interesting things do you find on these websites/apps?
- Have you ever seen content that made you uncomfortable in movies, books… ? You don’t have to tell me what, I just want to know how you felt.
- In your opinion, why are some movies inappropriate for children under the age of 12, age 16? Do you think it makes sense?
Questions about tablet security and parental controls
- In your opinion, is everything written on the internet true?
- What do you do to tell the difference between true and false information ?
- Just as some movies are forbidden to children under the age of 16, in your opinion why are certain websites and apps discouraged for young children?
- Have you ever seen shocking content online ? What was your reaction?
- If tomorrow, you saw violent or shocking content online–something that could give you nightmares, for example–what would be your reaction?
- If you had to look for some information online, how would you do it? Let’s do it together.
2- The golden rules for discussion success
Le plus important, c’est que vous écoutiez de manière active vos enfants, sans les juger, et que vos enfants comme vous-même preniez du plaisir à cet échange.
3- Some tips for peaceful use of tablets and phones by your children
1. Put the computer / tablet/ phone in a common room
If you could remember only one rule, perhaps it should be this one! The internet should be a family tool and your children should feel you are present. If you leave them to use the internet in their bedrooms, you will have far more trouble protecting them and limiting their screen time
2. Accompany your child during his first searches
We could set all the parental filters and controls (we’ll talk about it again below), but the most important thing is the behavior of your dear little ones in front of screens, and one single rule: communicate, share! If your child feels he can share with you his internet searches, that it’s not forbidden but actually allowed and encouraged, that’s already a big step!
Accompany your child during his first searches.
What are “keywords”? How does one find relevant content? Is the first Google result always the best? How can one tell the difference between an advertisement and a “real” search result? There are so many questions that would be interesting to discuss with your child.
3. Agree on the best actions to take if he sees a shocking image or content
If your child sees content that makes him uncomfortable, he must immediately turn off his screen and notify an adult. It’s important to talk about it!
He can also report the content to site administrators. Content reported by users is moderated by trained moderators, and the users who post inappropriate content or show inappropriate behavior are banned temporarily or permanently by the site.
4. Create a different account for each user
Android tablets have a multi-user management tool since version 4.2, and above all the ability to create restricted profiles since version 4.3. If you wish to share a tablet with your children, make sure that it ideally features this last version.
Multi-user management allows you to create an account for your children, without them accessing your content, and with personalized access to apps of your choice. To do this, look at the settings, and then users. From there, you can create a new profile that is restricted or not.
Apple tablets have also for some time now offered a family sharing service. This service allows parents to approve the purchases of their children from their account, and also to share purchases made from an account showing all those accounts associated with family members (up to 6).
5. Secure the tablet : setting parental controls
There are many varied parental control solutions depending on the type of device you are using.
6. Encourage your child to use adapted tools!
There is a plethora of tools designed so that children may have a secure experience online. If we had to name a few, we could begin with Google safe search which allows the blocking of inappropriate images in Google search results. It’s not 100% reliable, but it’s already very efficient, and it’s activated in 3 clicks.
As for videos, think about activating restricted mode on YouTube: the same idea, it filters (the majority) of content not intended for children.
4- Ms. Broccoli’s selected reading for further subject discussion
- Common Sense Media, material intended for parents
- OnGuardOnline, a wealth of videos intended for children
- Google Safety Center, an index of resources for using the best Google security tools for your family
- Google Safe Search, a search engine secured for children, and more information about restricted mode on YouTube
- Apple’s documentation on parental controls
- Wild Web Hoods, an online game created by the Council of Europe to teach children the basic rules about internet security
And to conclude…
30 minutes of (real) conversation with your children every week can make a considerable difference. You can’t find these 30 minutes? What if you start with 15 minutes, or even 10 minutes just to try? No television, no radio, no telephone or interruption allowed during this precious time. You will be amazed by all that you are going to discover about your children and by the positive impact of these little conversations on your relationship with your children…with the condition that you truly listen to them!
Do you have a conversation idea to suggest to Ms. Broccoli ? A comment about or an addition to this article? A personal experience that you would like to share? Contact Ms. Broccoli at firstname.lastname@example.org.