The internet and social media are part of everyday life as the various platforms provide a range of uses from discussion, news, collaboration, sharing and interacting. With such an array of technology: computers, laptops, tablets, game consoles and smart phones we can connect with anyone, at anytime from anywhere around the world.
Technology is here to stay and while it can offer up many opportunities, it also comes with risks – especially for children. As a parent, I know how difficult it is to keep up to date with the latest gadget or social media platform. It was only six months ago, that I eventually got my head round Snap Chat before another one came on the scene – Twitch!
These are just a few applications I have needed to find out about recently to educate myself as a parent, so this article is about sharing with you the hints and tips I have found to keep my children safe online.
Below are a few tips you may want to consider to keep your child safe online:
- Controls / filters on the internet service and web browser: it is easy to download controls to keep children off certain websites or to limit the amount of time they spend online. Find out what you can download or what your internet service provider has to help you.
- Controls on the devices: remember it’s not just about the games console, you can also limit websites and time on all your devices even smart phones- very helpful when you want to stop kids interrupting their sleep with screen time!
- Rules and boundaries: as a family set rules and boundaries for everyone in the family. But remember to stick to them! Consistency is very important. Sit down with your child and set the rules together but also talk about the dangers of being online so they know to come to you if they have a problem. Talk to children about their use of, and behaviour in the on-line world and have ongoing discussions with them.
- Be age aware: what is appropriate for a teenager is not ok for an 8-year-old. Use your own judgement based on your own child and be aware of the age restrictions on games and websites. Remember the age limits are guidelines, if you think your child isn’t ready for the age specified make that judgement yourself.
- Keep informed: to keep yourself updated visit https://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/ where you can get information on all things to do with online safety. It’s a great place to find out all the information you need to know to keep your child safe online, but it is also the place you can go to if you need to make a report about online safety issues of any kind.
Remember, communication is very important so above all, talk to your child and encourage them to discuss any concerns with you. Consider parental controls on devices and be aware of where your child goes when online.
PIN THIS POST