Kid-proofing cyberspace

Kid-friendly operating systems can make computers and the internet safe for children.

Kid-friendly operating systems can make computers and the internet safe for children.

In addition to those age-old parental concerns – curfews, dating and homework – today’s moms and dads also have to worry about protecting their kids online. Meanwhile, children are using devices at younger ages than ever before. Some technology is now so intuitive that your two-year-old can pick up an iPhone and take a picture or play a game. So how do you protect kids from all the scary and inappropriate stuff that’s floating around in cyberspace?

If you want to protect your home computer, applying parental controls software is one option. It will allow you to monitor what your kids are viewing online and can whitelist approved sites while blocking others. But this is a lot of work, is difficult to manage and can be complicated for parents without a lot of tech savvy.

One potential solution is to set up a new operating system that makes it safe for kids to go online. There are a few specialized environments that were designed just for this purpose: To create a safe computer experience for kids.

Qimo for PCs
This operating system is great if you’re trying to make your PC safe for young kids. It’s custom-designed for children and comes packed with great kid-friendly applications that are educational and fun. It allows parents to customize content filters and control what kids can access on the computer or internet. It’s also free and can be downloaded from the Qimo4Kids website instantly.

KidO’Z for PCs, tablets and smartphones
​This application is available for Windows, Android, Mac and Chrome operating systems. Its built-in browser blocks ads and filters content in real-time. It also has a large, kid-friendly interface with links to popular kids websites and content like Dora and Spongebob. Parents can customize controls and block applications that they don’t want their kids using. While the mobile version is free, the PC version costs $5 a month, $40 a year or $60 for a lifetime subscription. Still, it may be worth the extra peace of mind!

Even with these tools, parents should continue to be parents. Watch what your kids are doing, make sure you teach them safe browsing habits and talk to them about other risks and how to stay safe online. These tools may be great supplements, but nothing can replace personal interaction!

What do you think about monitoring kids’ online activity? Do you have any other advice for parents that want to make sure their kids use computers safely? Please share your thoughts below or comment on our Facebook page!

Kate Beckham

Kate has been lighting up the blogosphere for over 5 years, with a keen interest in social media and new malware threats. When not sitting at a café behind her Mac, you’ll usually find her scouring the racks for vintage finds or playing guitar.