Tips to protect your children online
In the fast-paced world that we live in, children are becoming increasingly connected to the internet. It is accessible all the time, on mobiles, iPad, laptops, video games or computers. Whilst there are definitely benefits to the internet there are also many dangers, and as a parent it’s important to be aware of what these are, to know how best to keep your child safe online.
If used safely, the internet can be a great tool for young people. It is fantastic for learning, exploring, furthering skills and communicating. But there are also serious dangers. Recently, parents seem to think that if their child is online, they are safer than if they were outside. But the truth is that being on the Internet unsupervised can lead to real-life dangers. Wiz Case has offered some important advice on how to reduce these dangers:
Children today are very good at using technology, to such an extent that school kids often have a better understanding of technology than their parents. This knowledge gap can cause serious problems. To bridge the gap the advice is that parents have a healthy dialogue with their child about their internet use. This can be done by asking detailed questions, such as what they are using the computer for and what website they are on. Showing respect whilst also setting expectations and making it clear that unsafe or immoral behaviour is unacceptable will help you to be more involved in your child’s engagements online.
Put the family computer in a shared space
Another recommendation is that if your child is using the internet at a young age, you should have the computer in a central location in the home, such as the kitchen or living room, so that you can see what your child is doing online.
Download a child-friendly browser
Using a child-friendly browser, such as Kiddle, KidzSearch or K9 Web Protection, means that young children will not come across nasty content online.
Say no to cyber-bullying
A recent national bullying survey showed that 56% of young people said they have seen others be bullied online and that 42% have felt unsafe online. Make it clear to your child that cyber-bullying is absolutely unacceptable and that they need to tell you if they are being targetted online. Find out more about cyber-bullying here.
Guard personal information
Tell your child that they must not give out any personal information online that may reveal your families location, or any other data that could lead to dangerous consequences. Common Sense Media has a wealth of tutorials, media and content ratings and studies about children and online safety.