Do You Know What Your Kids Are Doing Online?

Is monitoring your children on the internet necessary or an invasion of privacy?

This is a brand new parenting dilemma we face raising children in the age of technology. For the first time in history, children are able to create an entirely separate world outside of their parents' view.

A world where they could discover literally anything if they know where to look.

A world where they could connect with literally anyone, friend or foe.

A world where there is so much to learn and experience, but where there are no rules or protection.

Only 52% of parents today are moderately supervising their children online.

That number may sound low, especially with so many involved parents among us. But with children on screens an average of 7 hours a day, how could we supervise at all times? Even the most attentive parent does not have an extra 7 hours a day (per child!) to watch over little shoulders.

Close to 62% of teens say their parents know little or nothing about the websites they visit.

Once upon a time, parents knew (almost) everything their kids were getting into. They could keep them safe by making sure they wore their bike helmets and keeping an eye out the window as they played in the yard. These parents knew their surroundings and anything they needed to be cautious about.

But with the internet, we have no idea.

Not just because our children are super tech-savvy, but because the internet covers the vast expanse of human knowledge. All of it, good and bad, right at their fingertips. You can learn how to change a car tire, take a quiz to find out which Harry Potter character you are, or flirt with your crush.

But you can also be two clicks away from some really disturbing stuff.

Over 40% of children ages 10 to 17 have been exposed to porn online, many accidentally.

Kids aren't necessarily looking for inappropriate content. But it's easy to go down the wrong rabbit hole and suddenly be shocked to find yourself staring at porn.

Pornography searches increase by 4,700% when kids are out of school.

And some, of course, are looking for it. And with it so readily available, we have to prepare our kids, and ourselves.

With all of these factors at play, parents need to be able to watch their children online, just as they would watch them out playing in the yard. They need to be able to understand where their children are going online without having to understand the internet top-to-bottom.

The Torch WiFi Router gives parents reports on where their children go online and how much time they spend there. Simple reports; showing not just that the child went to a site called ABC Mouse, but that this mouse site is actually categorized as educational. Sweet!

And if you find things in your children's profiles you don't like, you can block those sites or the whole category from their view. But first you're able to have a conversation with your child about that content. A conversation you may not have known to have otherwise. Having an open dialogue about their online behaviors is a great way to stay connected as they grow into their online world and their offline world too. (Check out this important post about starting a conversation about tech with your kids.)

The reporting feature is a tool for families, and it should be used exactly the way your family needs it.

Some families are more strict and some are more loose.

Some kids love boundaries and some kids fight boundaries.

The beauty of having this reporting tool in your parenting toolbox is it can become exactly what your family needs it to become.

Sources: Protecting Children Online Safety Campaign, American Academy of Pediatrics, Time Magazine, Google Analytics.

To see more about the Parental Superpowers you'll get with your Torch WiFi Router, visit our features page here.

Learn more about Torch: Web | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram