The internet is one of the greatest advancements of this century, opening up a world of learning, creativity, gaming and connecting. But how do you keep track of what they’re doing and make sure they’re staying safe?
Whether you’re an online expert or you’re not sure where to start we’ve got 4 key tips help you:
- explore the online world together
- talk to your child about staying safe online
- manage the software and tools your family use
- agree rules about what’s ok and what’s not
What children do online and through social networking
Children and young people go online to connect with friends, and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may:
- search for information or content on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing
- share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps like Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest and Vine
- use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter
- write or reply to messages on forums and message boards
- play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles
- chat with other people through online games, BBM (Blackberry Messenger), game consoles, webcams, social networks and tools like Whatsapp
- When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family.
There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your child safe online
Teach your children the five key Childnet SMART rules which remind young people to be SMART online. You should go through these tips with your children.
S – SAFE Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information – such as your name, email, phone number, home address, or school name – to people who you don’t know online.
M – MEETING Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’/carers’ permissions & when they can be present.
A – ACCEPTING Accepting e-mails, IM messages or opening files from people you don’t know or trust can be dangerous – they may contain viruses or nasty messages.
R – RELIABLE Someone online may be lying about who they are, and information you find on the internet may not be reliable.
T – TELL Your parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.