The prevalence of communication technologies and internet access has made it even tougher for single mothers to protect their offspring from the vulnerabilities in the real and digital world.
The teenagers and underage children are facing several physical, psychological and mental health issues thanks to the mobile phones and social media. Reports indicate that kids spend more than nine hours a day on social networking platforms remaining exposed to cyberbullies, online child predators, explicit content, virtual peer pressure and other online hazards. In this post, we are discussing how a single mom can ensure that her children stay safe online.
Look for Warning Signs
A sudden change in your kid’s behavior and eating habits is the first sign that he/she is facing a problem that you should be aware of. Have your child started receiving phone calls, messages, or emails from someone not in your knowledge? Does he/she quickly change screen of computer or mobile phone on finding you around? Does he/she spend most of the time staying online at night? Is he/she losing interest in family activities? All these are red flags that your kid is communication with a child predator or he/she is up to that can have horrible consequences.
Keep Communication Lines Open
Have discussions with your children and educate them about the menaces of the internet. Let them know about the child predators and the ways they lure and victimize adolescents. Alert them of the perils of revealing personal information, photos, and videos on the internet. Teach them how they can protect themselves online. Never discourage them if they come to you with any of their personal problems. Assure them that they can and should come to you for any distressing online activity.
Set Rules for Mobile Phone and Internet Use
Make rules for the internet use inside and outside the home and set rewards or punishment for breaking those rules. Inform your children that they can enjoy independence but stay responsible and abide by the rules. If they break rules they may lose their privileges. Set time limits for using the mobile phone, computer, and the internet so your children do not become an addict of these technologies. Given are a few rules, you can implement in your home.
- Using mobile phone at the dining table is not allowed.
- Communicating with friends over the mobile phone or social media after 10 pm is not allowed.
- Disclosing personal information on social media sites and somewhere else on the internet without informing mom is not allowed.
- Sharing nude or inappropriate photos or videos on the internet is not allowed.
- Do not permit talking and hanging out with strangers without taking the mother in confidence.
- Rules to set social media profiles private; not sharing passwords with anyone, and not leaving social media accounts logged in on computer or mobile phone device of someone else.
- Hide your location from hackers and other users by keeping your IP address private.
Use the parental control tools to block objectionable and inappropriate internet content. From setting up network-wide parental controls on the router to use the built-in parental controls of Windows, there are various ways to website blocking. There are several browsing extensions to control the use of certain internet browsers. The third-party parental control software can be the best tool to website filtering and make the internet secure.
Take Support of Monitoring Software
Mobile phone and computer monitoring software can assist single mothers more than anything else. You can read the messages and online conversations of your kids; listen to their phone calls; check their emails; track their current and previous GPS locations; keep tabs on their social media profiles; check their internet browsing history; discover the multimedia files stored on their phone, and monitor almost everything they perform on their mobile phones and computers. Once you install the Spyware app on their device, you can track and control their devices even staying away from them. The software keeps you updated about wherever your children go, whatever they do and where and with whom they spend their times. To cut in short, the monitoring app is the biggest support and burden-releaser for single moms.
Educate your children about the digital threats, learn them to fight the scoundrels, and more importantly monitor them so you can take the right step when needed.
Aline is blogger and writer at TheOneSpy. She mostly writes about digital parenting tips, mobile phones technology, and social media privacies for children. To know more about her follow her on Twitter.