It’s never been more important to make sure you are helping to keep your child safe in the digital world. We want to help to put you in control and help you and your children understand the risks and stay safe online. First of all, it’s really important to get familiar with your child’s online habits through regular conversations. These are some of our favourite tips for having conversations about online safety with young children:
- Start a conversation when your children will be more receptive and engaged, such as on the way from or to school.
- Ask them for advice on how to do something online and use this as a conversation starter.
- Make sure they know they can come to you if they’re upset by something they’ve seen online.
- Be sensitive and encourage them when they share their online experiences with you.
- If your child talks about an issue with you, stay calm and listen without judging them.
It is important that you also check that they know the rules to help them stay safe online:
Don’t share personal information like their phone number or email address online
Only talk to real life friends or family if they are on sites with a social media element
Talk about online grooming and explain that people they meet online might not be who they say they are
Tell them to be a good online friend and not to say nasty things even if it’s just a joke
Use secure and legal sites to download music and games
Make sure they check with you before downloading any programs to avoid viruses
You can find more help, advice and step by step guides at www.internetmatters.org. Internet Matters is an independent, not-for-profit organisation created to help parents keep their children safe online.