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  /    /  Keeping Your Children Safe Online

Keeping Your Children Safe Online

Whilst we all know there are certain dangers associated with the Internet and some inappropriate content, there is also plenty of useful, educational, and fun content that we don’t want to deprive our children of. 

Living in the digital world today’s children are growing up in it is important to find the balance of using technology for entertainment, education, and convenience while keeping our children safe and protected.

 

There are two parts that work together to help keep your child safe online, which we have covered in our advice articles:

The Technology Solution

Parental controls and other technology options can really help to keep children safe.  It’s important to understand what’s available, take time to set it up appropriately for your household, and continue to update the settings as your children grow.

The Parenting Solution

At the end of the day, managing your child’s internet use and keeping them safe isn’t that different from any other kind of parenting.

Don’t be worried that technology is this whole other world that your child understands, but you don’t.

Think of it like a child driving a car. They could learn how to use the gear, pedals, etc. (just like they can use the internet), but in order to be safe, they would need to learn the rules of the road too (for example, understand what information they shouldn’t share).

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to talk to your children about issues relating to eSafety. Just like any other safety lessons you teach them as they grow up – what not to put in their mouths as babies, how to cross the road safely – from the earliest possible age, it is important to introduce the concerns and responsibilities surrounding online usage.

Try to keep a dialogue going – continue to ask questions about what they and their friends are doing online and encourage them to share their experiences and concerns.

Try to keep a dialogue going – continue to ask questions about what they and their friends are doing online and encourage them to share their experiences and concerns.

 

Here are some general tips and ideas:

  • Ask them what sites or apps they’ve used that week and get them to tell you why they really liked them
  • If you find your child accessing a site or using something you are not comfortable with online, try to suggest an alternative (where possible) that you are comfortable with, rather than just banning that particular site
  • Use an article in the paper or a subject in a TV programme your child watches as a starting point for a discussion around internet safety
  • Encourage them to never put anything online they wouldn’t say to someone’s face and wouldn’t want themselves or their teachers to see or hear. Being their friend/subscriber/follower may make your child more aware of this (just don’t comment on their posts – it’s embarrassing!)
  • Get your children to understand some of your concerns (without terrifying them) using analogies to things they are familiar with
  • Ask them to tell you immediately if they see or hear anything they feel uncomfortable with or think they shouldn’t be seeing. If this does happen you need to double-check your safety settings
  • Keep usage of the internet and mobile devices within communal parts of the house and keep an eye on what your child is using

 

The internet can be a great place for learning, sharing, and communicating across the globe. Following some simple e-safety tips, you will allow your child to make the most of what the internet has to offer.

More on Tech and eSafety

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