Parenting and Technology– Keeping Children Safe Online
With an ever growing online world available at our fingertips, it is very important to ensure that we are safeguarding our children to ensure that we are providing them with the best possible opportunities, safely. Here are some top tips on how to achieve this:
- Choose quality technology to support children’s learning and enjoyment, amongst a mix of other offline activities like real books, lego, drawing and sport!
Tech and digital skills may well be your child’s future career path.
- Get Involved with your child’s online activity, when they are younger do the activity with them and as they get older, always encourage them to talk to you about their internet use.
- Create a family agreement to establish boundaries and good etiquette for the whole family – including adults – parents are important role models! E.g boundaries for tech at bedtime, before school, mealtimes and week nights.
- And help your child understand and follow the school’s Internet safety policy and practice.
- Give your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen
- telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities.
- Consider using filtering software to block unwanted content. In addition to filtering, remember that discussion with your child, and involvement in their internet use, are both effective ways to educate them about the internet.
- Encourage your children to ‘think before you post.’ Online actions can impact not only yourself but the lives of others. Content posted privately online can be publicly shared by others, and may remain online forever.
- Understand the law. Some online behaviour may break the law, for example when downloading or sharing content with others.
- Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which can help to indicate the level and suitability of the content. Ts&Cs for Accounts on Youtube, Facebook, instagram are age 13+
- See if online reviews are available from other parents as these may be helpful https://www.commonsensemedia.org
- Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and reporting features available on popular sites and services
- Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space.
- If anyone in your family is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken. Never reply or respond online to a bully.
- Set up a family email address that your children can use when signing up to new games and websites online.
- Encourage your children to use nicknames (where possible) instead of their full name online, to protect their personal information, and create strong passwords for every account.
- Set up a PIN or password on devices to help protect personal information
- Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space
Click on this link to read the latest issue of Digital Parenting. This is a free online magazine which has lots of useful information and resources that you can use to help you support your child with using the internet and social media safely.