As a parent of very young children I do worry about how technology will impact their upbringing. I also worry about their safety, especially since they are so young that stranger danger is still somewhat difficult for them to grasp. But fortunately they do seem to be on the shyer side, which helps a little...but what about those times we might be in a populated place like a public pool, etc?
So today I am concentrating on some cool technology and ways to be alert about what your kids are doing and ways to keep an eye on kids without using a physical tether...
The Jiobit - a little wearable Token that can help you monitor where your child is (I’m the house or out, etc.). I don’t know if it has a proximity alert but it’s something that might be good to have in a backpack if on a trip to a water park or something. On their site it looks like it’s about the size of an Oreo cookie.
And this product isn’t just for kids. I saw one testimonial of a woman with an adult special needs child who would sometimes try to get out of the house or leave a caregivers home. I would imagine this could be good for people taking care of people with dementia.
WiFi and Device Monitoring
Many routers and/or “networks” now allow you as a parent to set some controls and limitations on your kids use of the internet on their devices, etc. In addition to things like Norton safe surfing software that can help add permissions for access to certain content, you can do similar things at the network level using routers and networks that help you add permissions and monitor usage at the individual “device” level.
This product: (MeshForce Whole Home Mesh WiFi System M3 Suite (1 WiFi Point + 2 WiFi Dot) - Dual Band WiFi System Router Replacement and Wall Plug Extender - High Performance Wireless Coverage for 5+ Bedrooms Home) is one such product. Not only could you set your entire house up with more solid coverage, but in their settings you could have access to resources to help you make sure certain things are being browsed and/or set limitations on when devices can access the internet (i.e., bedtimes).
There are a lot of other products and resources that can do it, but I know I’ll be doing this when the girls start doing more things on their own...
Kids May Use VPNs to get some autonomy.
Just be aware that kids will always look for ways to keep their lives private. VPNs are great security resources for people trying to protect themselves from malicious hackers who want to exploit holes in WiFi security. But they are also ways that kids can get some privacy when browsing the internet as VPNs can set up new / unique IP addresses.
I’m techy enough to know that this can work, but I’m not techy enough to know “how”.
Here’s a link to a blog post about how kids are doing it.
Here’s an article on wikihow for kids to learn how to use a VPN to get around monitoring and parental controls...know what they know to stay informed on what kids are vdoing.