The internet is an amazing resource and increasingly younger children are using it. It enables children and young people to connect, communicate, learn and be creative in a number of different ways on a range of devices. However the internet is always changing and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge. You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online.
To understand what your children are doing online and to protect them from potential harm it is important that you:
- Talk to them about what they are doing – they will enjoy teaching you.
- Make sure that they know the people they communicate with online whom they don’t know are strangers. Children don’t equate that people they have conversations with online when playing games are strangers.
- Make sure children know what to do if something they see or something someone says makes them feel uncomfortable – they need to tell you.
- Make sure they know that things they share on the internet can potentially be shared. Children can feel anonymous online and forget that photos, conversations, video clips etc can often be viewed by others
The NSPCC and O2 have worked together to promote internet safety and support for parents and carers with questions about how to keep safe.
Their website is very informative:
Net Aware is a website that has information on a wide range of Apps children are currently using. This includes information on what the App is, what age it is for and parents/children’s views on the App.
O2 offers a free helpline 0808 800 5002 for parents/carers with questions about how to keep children safe online (for example how to set up effective filters that don’t block absolutely everything).
Other useful websites with similar content include: