To lockdown or not to lockdown. This is the question… that has been baffling educational authorities the world over and also causing headaches to parent’s the world over. During lockdown, remote schooling becomes the norm and given the persistent uncertainty about the impact of different Covid variations it is here to stay for some time yet.

However this makes it harder than ever for parents to manage their children’s digital activity. Kids are online more frequently than many parents would like. And most parents can’t always find the time to keep an eye on the children’s digital activity.

To make your life easier and to ensure the kids are safe it’s a good idea to set up some basic internet rules. Map out a few basic rules with your children about their internet usage when remote schooling.
  • For smaller kids, you will want to keep these rules simple and easy to follow such as asking permission to go online, only using certain apps and asking permission to install games.
  • As your child gets older, they will naturally want more freedom so their understanding of the dangers needs to broaden such as not giving out names and addresses, not making in-app payments without permission and not sharing private information.
At a general level focus on teaching children the skills they need to protect themselves online and accentuate the positive because the internet can be a great resource for learning. But sometimes, children may feel uncertain about speaking to you. For instance, if your child falls for a phishing scam they might feel they will get into trouble.
  • Let your kids know that the most important thing is their safety. Kids might worry that they’ve brought trouble on themselves or that you won’t understand. As such it’s always important to let your kids talk about their feelings and to take their concerns seriously.
In the home

No matter how much time the children spend on remote schooling there are some basic security technologies that need to be deployed through the home regardless.
  • Proven internet security that runs in the background and protects you from viruses, including trojans, spyware, and ransomware is essential. It identifies and blocks malware before it can do any damage.
  • If someone gains access to a webcam, they may be able to spy on you or your children. When you’re not using your webcam cover the camera with the slide that comes with laptop webcams or a piece of tape if it’s a standalone device.
  • A VPN safeguards your data when moving from one place to another. This is especially important if your child is using a public Wi-Fi connections.
  • The best way to avoid hackers and viruses is to stay away from unsafe content. You can use content blockers to permanently prevent kids from visiting dodgy internet sites.