How can you help to protect your child online?
You have a key role to play in keeping your child safe online. The school wants to work with parents to ensure pupils are as safe as they can be online. Part of keeping your child safe online involves increasing your own awareness of the online world, its risks, and how the internet can be used safely.
The Key Risks The UK Safer Internet Centre groups the issues your child may encounter online into four categories:
Conduct – children can put themselves at risk due to their own behaviour.
Content – children can have access to inappropriate and unreliable content.
Contact – children can be contacted by bullies, or people who will groom or seek to abuse them.
Commercialism – children can be unaware of the hidden costs of the online world.
What can parents/carers do?
Make sure your child knows they must keep their personal information safe (e.g date of birth, address etc.) and not share information with strangers—ensure your child uses the strongest privacy settings on any platform they use.
Tell your child about the importance of reporting any online activities such as messages, images and general behaviour that they feel is inappropriate.
Pay attention to and monitor your child’s online behaviour—you could consider installing parental control software.
Set expectations for what is appropriate for your child to look at online.
Make sure your child knows the important of assessing the reliability of online content and that it can be illegal to download some things.
Regularly review your child’s ‘friend’ list and talk to your child about who they are talking to online.
Make sure your child understands the importance of reporting, either online or offline, any instances of bullying or something that has made them uncomfortable.
Encourage your child to ‘think before they click’ and consider placing restrictions on app purchases.
|E-Safety for parents - video|
Below are some excellent resources for parents and young people.
Internet safety checklist for young children
Be clear what your child can and can’t do online – where they can use the internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share. Agree with your child when they can have a mobile phone or tablet.
The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about what they do and what sites they like to visit. If they’re happy to, ask them to show you. Talk to them about being a good friend online.
Put yourself in control
Install parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices. Set up a user account for your child on the main device they use and make sure other accounts in the household are password-protected so that younger children can’t access them by accident.
Use airplane mode
Use airplane mode on your devices when your child is using them so they can’t make any unapproved purchases or interact with anyone online without your knowledge.
Encourage them to use their tech devices in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the internet and also share in their enjoyment.
Talk to siblings
It’s also a good idea to talk to any older children about what they’re doing online and what they show to younger children. Encourage them to be responsible and help keep their younger siblings safe.
Use safe search engines such as Swiggle or Kids-search. You can save time by adding these to your ‘Favourites’. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.
Check if it’s suitable
The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. For example, the minimum age limit is 13 for several social networking sites, including Facebook and Instagram. Although sites aimed at under-10s like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin also have social networking elements.