Updated: Apr 13, 2021
[UPDATE: 8/23/2020 - Please note the Supervised User feature mentioned on the SearchRPM website has been shutdown, please take a look at the Family Management tools on Google and Apple devices below to help monitor content ]
Security for elementary aged kids in school often meant signing a sheet when dropping them off or picking them up, buzzing in at the lobby and making sure they were not bullied or hurt!
Being online involves a new realm of security that we may or may not have really explored setting up since younger children often do not spend a full day "working" online! Here are a few basic tips to get you started, I chose Chrome since our school & many other schools are using Google Classroom for their online learning materials but the idea can be extended to other browsers.
What do we mean by "Security"?
In the content of remote learning at home, I am referring to "Tech Security" as opposed to "Physical Security" and even in the realm of Tech Security, I like to think about it based on all the devices and internet entering into our home via a phone carrier like Verizon or internet service provider like Cox Cable.
In this article we are focusing on the security of student's laptops, tablets and possibly phones if they are older, when using a browser and zoom.
In classes where there is screen sharing, breakout rooms, chatting ongoing, unless each and every student & educator's laptop is "secure", then no one truly will be safe from harmful content or cyber intruders.
Chrome & Other Browser Security Settings
The above quote comes from the SearchRPM website (an SEO company) that has this great article on basic browser security settings for Chrome, FireFox, Mozilla, Internet Explorer and Safari : Safe Browser Settings for Kids.
It is quite frightening to see a stat like that and emphasizes once again the utmost importance that we take action TODAY to secure our children's devices! Below are the steps outline by SearchRPM for Chrome:
Built-in Parental Controls
Go to www.google.com/preferences.
At the top of the page you can check the box for the SafeSearch to filter out adult content from search results, for more details go to this Google's Filter Using SafeSearch article.
Click save at the bottom of the page.
This should not only setup "SafeSearch" on Chrome but any browser where you search using Google and are logged into the same account you setup SafeSearch for.
Within Chrome, you can also visit: chrome://settings/security
Select "Enhanced Protection" instead of "Standard Protection"
If I switch devices for my child, I always do a "Security Audit" and double check all the security settings again!
Stay Tuned: Family Management Capabilities
In addition to the browser settings, you can explore Google and Apple's Family Management Capabilities that allow you to manage your families "digital ground rules" like allowable screen times, track their location, view websites and apps used and more.
Explore Google's Family Link site/apps : https://families.google.com/
Explore Apple's Family Sharing site/apps : https://www.apple.com/families/
Stay tuned for an upcoming article with more details around Family Management Capabilities and how our family is using them!