There are many things a parent should consider before providing a smartphone and/or laptop to their children. A smartphone/tablet/laptop is a must-have for everyone today and even kids need to study, communicate, socialize, and for entertainment. We are going to discuss how to have better parent-child relationships and encourage healthier tech habits.
Let’s start by talking about the what devices should be provided to the children:
A child may demand the highest variant laptop or a flagship phone. But do they really need the best-in-class gadgets? To find out the best budget laptops for students in Nepal, stay tuned for our next blog.
A budget laptop/desktop of today is capable of doing a lot of things at the same time. Students need laptops for online classes, communicating with classmates, research, writing, and more. There are also Chromebooks which are usually cheaper than windows laptops. Furthermore, they perform similar tasks, cost less, and have longer battery life. Other than that, a laptop/desktop computer can be shared among family members.
Taking care of the devices:
Children should be taught how to take proper care of the devices before personally handing them the devices.
Children should be taught how to handle devices properly. Smartphones, tablets, and laptop displays can be quite fragile and can be broken even with little pressure or dropping the device. A case/cover for the gadget should also be provided.
Parents should set up parental controls first before providing phones/tablets to their children. If they are a minor, social media user accounts should be set accordingly. Android and iOS let parents set up overall screen time and per-app screen time as well. TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram also have parental features built into them where you can monitor their activities. Moreover
accounts passwords and device passwords should be in parental control.
Screen Time, Bedtime, and Outdoor activities
It is important to take care of children’s physical health. Children need to do physical activity for their physical and mental health. It is better to engage in physical activity with their friends and family, so they have more time to connect with family members and friends.
Studies have shown that less screen time will help you get better sleep. This is also true for kids. As kids need more sleep than adults, parents should take away/switch off the gadgets and set a bedtime schedule. You can set limits to apps’ on-screen time through Digital wellbeing and parental control in Android. Instead of using/playing on phone/tablet after dinner, family members can tell stories or share about their day, kids can share what they learned at school, etc.
The Internet is the global interconnection of computers and devices. Just like everything has good and bad sides, the internet also has its pros and cons.
Even adults should be on high alert while using the internet. There are threats everywhere.
Children and everyone must know that people and companies are always trying to get your data. What you upload or post on the internet can always be there.
Children should be taught not to share passwords with others, use strong passwords, and not disclose their personal information like their full name to strangers, location, what school they attend, etc. Parents should also see if they have entered their credit card details anywhere so children don’t buy anything online and enable 2 step authenticators.
– Phishing and scams
With a lot of internet users, phishing attacks and scams have also increased. It is easy to deceive the new internet users on the internet. Children should be taught to identify fake sites and log in and trust verified sites.
As you can see on the image here, there is a sponsored post on Facebook through a fake Nepal Telecom page with an exciting offer of Free 3 GB of data. You would want to get free data and proceed to enter your login details on a look-alike site and then someone else will have full control of your account(s). In case you across any scam posts, comments, or messages on social media, always report them.
There are also a lot of different scam activities online. If something is too good to be true, it probably is a fraud. Children should also discuss with parents before paying for anything online. If someone asks for money before showing you the products or service then it is probably a scam and you should take caution whether buying physical or software/apps.
– Get information from the correct sources
There are a lot of opinions on social media sites. Children should learn to differentiate opinions from facts. Not everything on the internet is true. People are biased toward their opinion and ignore the facts.
Only verified accounts should be trusted and the source of articles and facts should be checked.
– Virus and malware
People are trying to attack you on the internet through different ways and mediums. Viruses, malware, and ransomware are pretty common attacks.
To keep your devices safe from these threats,
– do not download software from unreliable sources.
– install antivirus software and keep updating it
– update operating system and software regularly
– install ad blockers and popup blockers
Lead by examples
Children will definitely follow their parents consciously or subconsciously. If the parents follow good tech habits and educate them, the children will educate their friends.
Parents should respect children’s curiosity and actions and respond with empathy and love if their child does something wrong. Parents should understand humans learn from their mistakes, and as we are spending more time on the internet there is going to be higher risks. Children will be attracted to new technologies and games(Note to parents: Online games can not be paused).
With new technologies, there will also be new challenges and threats. Once you understand how to be safe on the internet and how technology works, you can stay away from threats and scams.
In addition to how to properly use mobile/tablets, parents should also teach their children how to operate different household and electronic devices like washing machines, vacuum cleaners, ATM machines, etc.