As parents, we try to keep our children as safe on the internet as possible. Internet safety is key to promoting safety in the home and help guard our children against unwanted interactions. A new kid-friendly search engine called Kiddle is now here.
Is Kiddle the answer parents have been searching for?
As parents, we try to do all that we can to keep our children safe. With so much information available in the world, a new website called Kiddle, a “safe search engine” for children has been created.
But, is it really that safe?
(As a side note, although Kiddle is powered by Google Safe Search, this website is not affiliated with Google Inc).
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Is Kiddle Search Engine Really Safe? Honest Review by a Mom
My husband and I have 4 young children and they are crazy-techno smart.
Literally, I am still amazed that my 1-year-old probably knows more about my smartphone than I do.
As parents, we spend so much time trying to create a safe learning environment for our children.
The reality that tends to slap us in the face the most is that we cannot control what they see or hear outside the home. But we do have control over what we allow in the home.
The home is supposed to be a place of safety where we spend so much time trying to create an environment where our children can be themselves.
We know they can’t (and shouldn’t) live sheltered lives.
But we want to help them cultivate a life full of the best that is available, from the music they listen to, the movies they watch, the books they read, and so much more.
So the question must be asked, is Kiddle the answer parents are searching for to help keep their kids internet safe?
Well, it depends.
The following review is my own and reflects that of who I am, a Christian mother. I have listed 3 ways Kiddle is not safe for children and 3 ways you can expect safety in Kiddle.
3 Ways Kiddle Is Not Safe
1. Keywords Are everything
Keywords are the key that will unlock Kiddle’s “unsafe” potential to your children. For example, if your child is wanting to search for “sex,” or “boobs,” they will come to an “Oops, try again!” page.
Update: searching the word “breast” will bring posts linking to breastfeeding, breast cancer, and oven roasted turkey breasts. Searching for terms such as, gay, lesbian, LGTBQ will bring up news articles in favor of these topics in relation to elementary school children and youth.
Not all searches will lead to this magical “oops” page though. If a child becomes very specific about what they want, such as “Lady Gaga” and scroll through her images, they will find some inappropriate, soft-porn pictures.
If the child is specific in their search then they will find the content you might not want their eyes on.
2. Hollywood Influence
Hollywood has a HUGE influence on the Kiddle search engine. If your son or daughter is a big Avengers fan then their images and related articles will show in the search feed.
But what about Deadpool and other rated-R movies.
Yes, they show up as well, including images and links to watch the movie.
3. Sponsored Ads/Outside Links
Kiddle’s purpose is to provide content to children, yet that content might take them to websites you don’t necessarily want them being on. Remember Deadpool?
The Kiddle website is notorious for having sponsored ads show first on their search feed.
But that doesn’t mean all ads are created equal.
The movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a very popular family movie. After doing a search for this movie, I was amazed at how much room the ads alone took on my screen before the search results came up.
(And this is just one screen worth of ads).
Knowing this information, should you jump ship on Kiddle, burn your electronic devices, and lock the kids inside the house? No, that’s a bit extreme and impractical.
Now that we know ways Kiddle is not safe, it’s only fair to look at the possible benefits of this search engine.
3 Ways Kiddle Is Safe
1. Keywords really are everything
I highly encourage parents and children to sit down together and create an “internet safety plan” to help keep children cyber safe.
Parents have to be proactive in establishing rules and instructing their children on what they need to do should specific situations arise.
However, if you have a child who is amazing in their vocabulary and is amazing at the game “Catch Phrase” (this game is a blast by the way), then you’re going to have some possible issues.
2. .Co – What Does It Mean?
Kiddle uses a (dot) .co instead of a .com to help promote their vision for Kiddle – that of being “children only.”
According to the website, Kiddle results are either handpicked/checked by their editors or filtered by Google safe search. If you find something inappropriate you can request additional keyword or site blocking on their website by filling out a quick form.
Kiddle does not collect any personal information while the children are on this (the Kiddle) website. According to their “About Page” the Kiddle’s logs are deleted every 24 hours to help promote privacy. If you’d like to read their privacy statement, you can do so HERE.
Encouraging our children to use Kiddle is safer than using other major search engine sites. However, the safety comes in open communication between the child and the parent.
Unfortunately, if a child wants to search for a specific topic there will always be ways to do this, whether in your own home or at their friend’s home.
If there are specific websites you want to be blocked, I highly encourage you to set up an internet filter and block these websites prior to allowing your children on the computer.
Success comes from teaching our children how to be internet safe. They need to be guided by rules, and as parents, we also need to hold them accountable.
I would love to hear what you think of the new Kiddle search engine. Leave a comment down below and let the community know.
Micah Klug is a wife, homeschooling mother to five children, and author. She teaches time-tested solutions to help parents remember what matters most in life, including strengthening their home, faith, and family relationships. To learn how a child who grew up in an authoritarian home is now creating an environment of peace and joy in her own home visit this page. If you want to contact Micah, send her an email here or email [email protected]