The savvy parent’s guide to keeping your kids safe online

Desiree Devoreaux

June 18, 2024

If you’ve landed on this page, you probably have some questions, maybe some concerns. Heck, maybe you’re downright scared. I’m Desiree; I’m a parent of two kids (6 and 10 months), and sometimes the internet scares me too!

Whatever brought you here, and whatever emotion you’re feeling, please know that it’s valid. The Surgeon General, after all, recently suggested that social media platforms should come with a warning label for young people. These feelings often change as our knowledge and understanding of what’s out there on the internet changes. At Hello Wonder, our mission is to help your kids navigate the internet safely and freely so you feel confident about your kids online experience.

Keeping kids safe

We, as parents, need to have the appropriate knowledge in order to make decisions that ensure the safety of our children, particularly regarding the internet. Browsers like Chrome and Safari come with their own risks, and different social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and TikTok pose huge safety concerns.

Let’s discuss some of these sites, the risks they present, and steps we can take to keep our kids safe.

Incognito mode

Chrome, a popular browser, includes Incognito Mode, which makes all internet history untraceable. This is a major safety issue for older kids and teens, as it can hide dangerous conversations and secret accounts. Google’s Family Link blocks Incognito Mode on child accounts and allows you to control which websites your child can visit, but new content constantly emerging online still poses risks.

Google parental controls

Google, synonymous with searching, offers vast information access. However, this isn't always suitable for kids. Innocuous searches can turn into something inappropriate easily. (Our parents report some particularly harrowing search results involving Disney princesses, for example). Putting limitations on their search capability greatly decreases this risk, but these limitations are often restrictive in ways that don’t allow kids to find the appropriate content they want.

While it’s great that they’ve given a lot of thought to this, Google’s parental controls don’t have much nuance, and are often criticized for being overly restrictive.


Kids love watching videos, and YouTube is the most popular platform for this. However, YouTube hosts billions of user-created videos, making it easy for children to encounter inappropriate content. Predatory creators can disguise explicit content as child-friendly. YouTube Kids offers vetted content, but it's limited and can become stale. The risks include:

  • There is no way of knowing what videos your child will encounter.

  • Videos on YouTube are user created, so they can title them however they like, allowing them to come up in commonly searched phrases for kids.

  • Predatory creators have found ways to make their videos appear child friendly, despite containing explicit content.

It’s very easy for a child to start with a perfectly acceptable video and then be served something containing inappropriate content. YouTube Kids content has been vetted, but this content is highly limited and becomes stale over time.


TikTok, a popular video-sharing app, is used by many children. Its algorithms can suggest explicit or provocative content, feeding into mental health issues by suggesting more harmful videos. Explicit lyrics and increased bullying are also concerns. TikTok has few restrictions for users under 13, making parental supervision crucial.

With more than a third of its 1 billion users under the age of 14, this app is very clearly being utilized by a large number of children, which comes loaded with risks.

  • TikTok's algorithms are less tested and regulated than YouTube, often suggesting provocative or explicit videos.

  • The algorithm can exacerbate mental health issues by suggesting more videos on self-harm or suicidal ideation if a child watches one.

  • Children may be exposed to explicit lyrics used in the background of videos.

  • There are increased instances of bullying, typically via the comment section.

  • There is a significant amount of provocative or sexual content on TikTok to attract user views.

Safeguarding your child’s presence

Both YouTube and TikTok encourage the creation of videos by everyone, even young children. Controlling the privacy settings, particularly about who can view the video and comment on them is incredibly  important for children’s online safety. From

2020 was a record-breaking year, with more than 21.7 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation made and is a 28% increase over 2019 – and a disturbing 97.5% increase in online enticement reports alone.

There are many frightening ways that predators can come into contact with your children online, and it is imperative that we as parents do all that we can to prevent this from happening.

Hello Wonder Keeps Kids Safe

The internet is a big place, with lots of wonderful and educational content, and worrisome dangers as well. We as parents need to do all that we can to keep our little ones safe as they venture out into the world, particularly the world of technology. If your child is between ages 5 and 12, the best way to do that is to get your child set up with Hello Wonder, the internet safety companion for kids. We all want what’s best for our children, and most importantly we want to keep them safe.

In addition to adding Hello Wonder to your family’s digital life, have clear and constructive conversations with your children. Today, internet safety is of the utmost importance, and parents -  it all starts with you. Install Hello Wonder today and keep your kids safe - they’ll love you for it!

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