According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 2,185 children are reported missing every day. The Center recently published a study that indicates one out of every seven children is solicited online, and four percent of children online will be asked to send explicit photographs of themselves. While your first reaction may be to wrap your children in bubble wrap to protect them from the outside world, its important to take effective steps to raise safe, healthy, well-aware kids. Embrace technology to help keep your kids protected; many apps are available to provide an extra measure of protection and internet safety for your children.
1. Family by Sygic
Like any good parent, you likely tell your child to “call when they get there,” and like most kids, yours will forget from time to time. Know exactly where your kids are at all times using the GPS on your child’s smartphone, through Sygic’s Family app. Install this free app on your family’s phones, and real-time access to the phone’s location and battery level. You can also send free messages over an Internet connection.
If certain parts of town are strictly off limits to your children, use the Family app to set up “Safe” and “Unsafe” zones. If your child ventures into an unsafe area, you’ll get a notification. The security features built into this app allow you to give your child a little more free reign, without putting his safety at undue risk.
2. K9 Web Protection
Web browsing can be unsafe on an open Internet connection. In fact, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that 34 percent of kids online will be exposed to sexual material. K9 Web Protection, a free app, forces SafeSearch on all major search engines. It also serves as a free Internet filter, allowing parents to control what sites their children can and cannot see. Sites are filtered based on 70 specific categories, like pornography, phishing, violence and drugs. Once those filters are in place, people using the device will not be able to access any sites that fall into those categories, without using a password override.
K9 Web Protection’s additional Internet safety features go beyond simply blocking dangerous sites. Parents can set custom lists for sites on their block list, place time restrictions on the device and receive notification if their child stumbles onto something suspicious.
3. FBI Child ID
If your child is one of the 2,185 children reported missing today, would you be prepared? With the free FBI Child ID, you will be. This app allows you to store your child’s photo and list identifying features such as height, weight and eye color. If the authorities need this information in the case of a tragedy, you can instantly email it to the necessary law enforcement agencies.
In addition to this vital feature, FBI Child ID provides safety tips for parents to help prevent tragedy, and also includes a checklist of what to do if a child goes missing. Finally, it contains shortcuts to dial the authorities and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Written by Troy Sharp
Troy writes about the newest gadgets and tech.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to safeguard their kids.