Parenting is hard. Each age has its challenges, but we all know how the saying goes, “little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems”. Raising kids in a digital age has added more challenges to parenting, and keeping kids safe online is a full time job in and of itself. In an ever changing digital landscape, parents have no choice to ensure that they are keeping their children safe online. It’s not a job we can do alone.
As our children get older, we want to give them the freedom to be a bit more independent and connect with their friends online. With that said, there are a lot risks associated with it and as a parent, it can be scary to release them into the wild of the digital world! So, how do we keep our children safe online?
Gaming & The Pandemic
In our house, not unlike many homes in across the word, the kids have become very interested in connecting with their friends through multi-player video games. The pandemic pushed my kids online earlier than I had anticipated, in ways I hadn’t anticipated. I was always proud of the fact that my kids didn’t run into the house after school and jump onto video games, but the pandemic changed all of that. After school playdates very quickly turned to after school Roblox sessions and post dinner Minecraft servers. As my anxiety began to soar, I knew that I needed some support.
I pride myself on being in the know, but I am the first one to admit when I need reinforcements. I knew that in order to keep my children safe online, I would need support, which is when I turned to Kidas.
Kidas: The Only Bullying & Predator Protection Software
Kidas is the only bullying and predator protection software for PC games. The software monitors in-game voice and text communication to keep a listening ear on what is happening while my children game with others. Each week, I am sent a detailed report about the threats that my child/children were exposed to along with recommendations written by Kidas experts on how to deal with the threat exposure. Kidas helps me identify and address any dangerous situations that my children may have encountered while interacting with others in video games, from cyberbullying to predatory behavior. Having the software on my children’s PC’s gives me the confidence I need to let my children play online.
Sign up for Kidas: $6/month, $60/year
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The Kidas Report
What’s in the report? Each week, I receive a report for each of my children. At the top of the report is the threat detector. This lets me know right away if any threats were detected.
Green means that no threats were detected.
Yellow means that there were threats detected that are considered appropriate in gaming, but they recommend you speak with your child about it so that it doesn’t get get out of line.
Orange means it was inappropriate.
Red means it was very aggressive or way too much and needs to be stopped.
The recommendations are linked in the email which allows me to click and read more about how they suggest I handle the threat. In addition to the detection of threats, I also receive a screen time report that indicates how much time my kids spent playing, what time of day they played and how it compares to their screen time from the week before. This gives me good insight into what my kids are doing on their computers, for example, if they are playing Candy Crush instead of doing their homework!
While Kidas monitors in-game communication, it also monitors screen time of games without communication. You can see a list of all of the games they monitor on their website. With the number of games they monitor, I know that as they play new games, they will still be protected.
While Kidas gives me peace of mind, it does not replace the responsibility I have as a parent or the responsibility I expect my children to have. It is installed on my children’s computers to help guide them through online gaming safely. Kidas helps me gain a better understanding of what is happening online while they game, who they are speaking to and what the communication is like. The reports helps me further conversations with my child about what is appropriate and what is not. It helps me to ensure that my child is doing their part to be a good digital citizen and to be an up-stander. There have been cases where I have been alerted that another child in the chat was being cyberbullied. Kidas gives me the opportunity to learn more and to connect deeper with my child about something I don’t have deep insight into.
Talking to kids about bullying, depression, suicide or predatory behavior can be challenging. Kidas has become my partner in alerting me to concerns and providing me with the resources necessary to support my kids.