The Scariest Thing on the Internet · 2019-10-31 13:36 by Matthew Garcia
Halloween is supposed to be the scariest time of the year. But what’s the scariest thing on the internet? It’s not an irrational question for parents to ask. There’s more and more bombarding their children as they surf the web, and in the ever-expanding landscape of online technology. It’s important to have some control, and not just at Halloween, but year around.
We at Adblock Plus put our heads together and made a list of some suggestions for how to improve your general knowledge of what is happening in online advancements, and to give some tips to gain more control and security for your children.
Part I. Knowledge:
-Reddit, a source for techies but also for less tech-savvy people: Reddit is an interesting site. The format can be a bit confusing at first, but it will quickly become navigable. Apart from offering general information, Reddit also provides a lot of subReddits on tech. A good subReddit is r/privacy for info on internet safety and better surfing. You can go there and look for more specific content to fit your directed privacy search. Also, another valuable suggestion is “The Tech Blog Writer Podcast” with Neil C. Hughes: http://techblogwriter.libsyn.com. He offers a wide variety of relevant information.
-Mozilla blog and Which? at which.co.uk. Accessible sources for articles and reading up on what is going on in the technology world and with internet safety. For example, the Mozilla blog recently published an article stating that Firefox Monitor was out, a free service that notifies you when your email has been part of a breach. It’s great to know that something like that exists and that it’s free.
-Medium.com is another viable option, though geared more toward personal articles and blogs, but what is nice about Medium is that you can decide upon signing up what types of information you want in your feed. Also, Medium often has blogs on relevant moral questions, ie. our relationship to the internet, children and cell phone use, Facebook and personal data, etc… It’s a place where people with good information share their beliefs on certain choices we all are confronted with.
Part II. Action and Control:
So you’ve read a lot of interesting things, and now you are hoping for more concrete, action-oriented approaches to making your children’s internet and gadget experience safe and comfortable.
Protecting your child’s laptop:
-Youtube: Youtube offers you Parental Controls (they are easy and there to help you) and also Youtube Kids, which gives you a more restricted content, further parental controls, and filtering of videos which are considered to be inappropriate.
-Mac Os Parental Controls: For those of us who use Mac, here is the quick of it, according to the Mac Os User’s Guide: “On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Parental Controls. Click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.” You can also set up different restrictions for different children, ie. you can decide on the websites each child has access to, and control how long they can use the laptop each day.
-Adblock Plus: This is an adblocker meant to filter out those at times completely inappropriate pop-ups (ie. Russian girls for you!) and the frustrating quantity of ad content in general (Why such inundation? Do I want my children to think THIS is normal?). Adblocker also keeps you safe from malvertising and tracking of your surfing history for use in re-targeted advertisement, thus protecting your private information.
Protecting your child’s cell phone:
-Additionally, you can add Adblock Plus as a mobile browser for Firefox (Android), Safari (iOS), and Samsung Internet. It’s fair to say that cell phones are the unstoppable future, and a lot of what our children are looking at or reading is taking place on their cell phones. This will help you be more involved in creating a safer internet and surfing environment for your children.
-Facebook Messenger for Kids: It’s exactly what it sounds like, an app for your kids to message, but in a way that was conceived to offer them more protection. It is a free video calling and messaging app created for them to connect to family and friends on both their cell phones and tablets. Children are only able to connect with people that parents have pre-approved. It’s also cute, with interactive masks and sound effects.
This is, of course, not meant to be an exhaustive list. There are other varied options out there, and we recommend doing your own searching if you would like to find some other alternatives. The above are merely some tips that are not only effective, but are also a gift to one’s self: the gift of peace of mind.