Keeping your child safe online
Modern technology offers amazing opportunities for learning and fun for our children. From researching a topic of interest, communicating with friends to making their own films and websites, the power of what they can access and do is amazing and can be really motivating for children’s learning. However, we do need to be aware that whilst there clearly are benefits, there are obvious risks too which we must be aware of.
The internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children's use of technology can be a challenge, especially if you feel that your children may have better technical skills than you do. However, children and young people still need support and guidance when it comes to managing their lives online and using the internet positively and safely. It is crucial that you maintain an open dialogue with your child so that you can be aware of potential risks.
In order to create a safe online environment for your children think about the following guidelines:
- Look at what your children are doing online regularly and agree with them that they must discuss with you a new game or app before they use it.
- Agree and manage the amount of time your child spends online and in front of a screen.
- Set the privacy settings on apps, games and phones so that children are chatting only to friends and not strangers.
- Discuss and agree with your children the age at which they will begin to use social media such as Instagram and Snapchat and games such as Fortnite.
- Take phones, games consoles and tablets out of their bedrooms at night. Agree the rules and stick to them.
- Let your child know they can come to you if they encounter anything they are unhappy about.
Most importantly – keep talking to your child regularly about what they are doing online and make sure they know to come to you for help.
Keeping our children safe online is really important. We have collected these website links to support parents.
5 SMART tips to share with your child to stay safe online
Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information when you’re chatting or posting online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and password.
Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ or carers’ permission and, even then, only when they can be present. Remember, online friends are still strangers even if you have been talking to them for a long time.
Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, images or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or nasty messages!
Someone online might lie about who they are and information on the internet may not be true. Always check information by looking at other websites, in books, or with someone who knows. If you like chatting online, it is best to only chat to your real-world friends and family.
Tell a parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone, or something, makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.