At Kidoodle.TV, we take Internet safety pretty seriously. We’ve built our platform to let parents feel at ease with the content that little ones can access, letting kids be kids. But we know that there are many ways for families to access content elsewhere and not all of it may be safe. Recently, we’ve been seeing cartoons online that seem to feature known characters but as the episodes play on, the content becomes inappropriate. This article describes a recent experience from a parent. Hearing stories like this inspired us to share four ways to keep your kids safe online.
1. Watch with your kids
There’s no doubt that screen time can be a great way to occupy your kids while you finish prepping supper or take a quick work call. Having confidence in the streaming service that you use is important if you’re allowing your children to have unsupervised screen time. Before you start using a new service, be sure to watch some of the shows either with your children or by yourself beforehand. Watching with your children is a great way to not only vet the types of shows your children may be watching, but to also engage with your children, their interests and what they are viewing. #WatchTogether #Engage
2. Look for third party validation
It’s not always easy to immediately tell a reputable streaming service from one that isn’t. Doing a bit of research can greatly help you understand what shows or services might be best for your family. Look for services that have received awards or seals such as the kidSAFE® Seal Program, Parent Tested, Parent Approved, Kidscreen Awards, or others. Additionally, Common Sense Media is a great resource that provides reviews of services and different shows. #kidSAFE #PTPA #Kidscreen #CommonSenseMedia
3. Utilize parental controls
Many streaming services have some form of parental controls which allow parents to customize the viewing experience. For instance, with Kidoodle.TV, you can toggle individual titles on and off, set viewing time limits, enable age filters and more. Although parental controls are designed for parents to control the viewing environment, many parents choose not to use them despite the ease of use. If the streaming service of your choice has parental controls, consider using them to ensure your children are watching content that is appropriate for your family. #ParentalControls
4. Set family rules
While many services provide controls and other features, the most important feature for families wanting to keep their children safe online is to set rules for all screen time. Designate sites that can be visited, talk about ‘what if’ scenarios, and emphasize to your children that if they encounter something inappropriate or scary, to talk to you immediately without fear of getting in trouble. These rules will help to empower your children to stay safe online. #Talk #Boundaries #FamilyRules #GetHelp
If you’re looking for additional tips, check out our list.
How do you keep your family safe online? Have your kids encountered inappropriate content and what did they do? Let us know by commenting below.
~ Alicia & Jeremy