More information for parents and carers
There are a range of ways that parents/carers can support their child with online safety. Here are some simple steps to help keep them safe online;
Begin a discussion around how the internet will be used in your house. As a family discuss what information should be kept private (such as personal information, photos etc) and agree rules created by both parties for making and meeting online friends. Talk to your child about what they are doing online much like you would about their offline activities. Ask them to show you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together with your child can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour online. It’s essential to be realistic: banning the internet or websites you do not think are suitable often will not work and it can make a child feel less able to report a problem or concern, so education around safe use is essential.
Encourage sensible use of social sites
Social sites are rapidly becoming a significant part of young people’s lives and is how they often communicate with the world. Make sure your child is aware of risks and knows how to block and report people on their Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat or other social media sites if they receive nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply and to keep any evidence.
Consider locating your computers and laptops in a family area where you can monitor your children’s online activity. Think about where you allow your child to use social media and video apps like Facetime, What’s App and SKYPE. Remember there are lots of devices which can be used to go online.
Follow the link for more guidance around safety information for consoles and devices.
Passwords are key for keeping your child’s information safe. Discuss using strong passwords with your child so they understand how they can protect their online accounts. It’s important they know they need to keep their passwords safe and not share them with anyone or use the same password for several accounts. If your child’s account is “hacked” or compromised then make sure they change their password and report any concerns or suspicious activity.
Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and your WIFI connection secure. Use Parental Control software for computers, laptops, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact. Always remember that parental control tools are not always completely effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child. If this is something that you are unsure about doing, you can contact your internet provider who will support with these changes over the phone.