In a world of freely shared and accessed information, you must limit what your children are exposed to. The probability that your children are exposed to content for which they are too young increases all the time, given how kids access information. From personal or family computers to public Wi-Fi and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, kids can readily access almost any type of content at any time.
However, you can prevent access to material you consider unsuitable, adult, or taboo pretty quickly. Web blockers are one of the best ways to restrict content across a network of multiple devices. Also, video game consoles like PS4 and Xbox provide comprehensive parental controls for limiting screen time and content. Additionally, it is helpful to take a proactive approach by checking the age rating of games your children play.
Additionally, less-than-savoury sites often contain malware that can infect your computer at the click of a button. Such intrusion will grant criminals the ability to access your personal data and files, monitor keystrokes, and switch on your webcam. Your data and private moments are then sold on the dark web for insidious purposes such as identity theft and blackmail. In short, this is one of the worst types of crimes yet is concerningly common in the 21st century.
One of the best tools for blocking malware is Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes provides excellent virus and malware protection. However, it also actively monitors web usage and will block access to malicious sites. Viruses and malware are noticeable by slowing down your computer. Therefore, proper removal is necessary to speed up your macOS or PC. However, it can be tricky and, in the worst cases, might require a hard disk format and OS reinstallation.
Install Web Blockers
The world wide web is a beautiful creation full of infinite knowledge and wisdom, free for all. Unfortunately, however, the freedom of the internet means all but the most extreme content this side of legality is easily found. Such content includes adult material, violence, and taboo subjects such as pornography, crime scene images, and fanatical extremism. As such, even the most innocent query via a search engine can expose your children to such topics.
Search engine providers like Google, Bing and Yahoo make extraordinary efforts to police their content and reduce content that might be classed as offensive or criminal. However, they still try to allow freedom of information as much as possible. Therefore, without controls, your kids will see things they should not. Fortunately, you can easily limit what your kids see by installing web blocker software. FamiSafe is among the best for mobile devices, and Net Nanny is excellent for Windows and Mac.
Use Parental Controls
You can also prevent your children from seeing unwanted content by setting parental controls. Parental controls are available on all new consoles such as PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X, and Nintendo Switch. Additionally, Windows 10 also provides excellent parental controls following an update. In addition to blocking specific content, parental controls also allow you to limit your kids’ screen time. They will also restrict content to adult games and set spending limits on payment cards children cannot purchase games or DLC after a certain amount.
Access to parental controls varies by system, but they are easy to locate and pretty similar. For example, PlayStation’s parental controls are located in Account Management -> Family Management. Xbox’s restrictions are found in Settings -> Privacy & Online Safety. You can access Windows 10 parental controls by typing ‘Family Options’ in the Search Bar. For each device, you need to create child accounts and ensure you are the master account holder.
Check Game Ratings
In many instances, parents willingly allow their children to view gaming content they shouldn’t. It is possible that some parents simply don’t take games seriously. However, some video games are rated for adults because they contain explicit material not suitable for children. In particular, Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series and GTA 5 is just one example of an adult video game that millions of children play regularly. One survey found that 70% of the game’s US player base is underage. This game is rated Mature in the USA and 18 in the UK. And for a good reason; it contains nudity, sexual violence, gun crime, and torture as entertainment.
Video game ratings are present for a reason. They are there to guide and inform you that these games are not suitable for children. As a parent, it is your responsibility to control what media your children are accessing. The age ratings of adult movies, music and video games should be taken seriously. If only to avoid tragic events such as children reenacting scenes that harm others. It is also proven that adult material influences and shapes children’s attitudes towards a particular demographic, such as viewing women as objects or racial minorities as inferior and subhuman. While some promote and glorify drugs, criminal and violent behaviour.