The internet is part of everyday life. Your child may use the internet for their homework, to call family, share photographs with friends, watch videos, or play online games with others.
To keep your child safe from harmful content and ensure they develop habits to enable them to stay safe online follow these top tips.
Always check that your settings are private and use parental controls so children cannot access age-inappropriate content, purchase apps or change passwords and privacy settings.
Model good online behaviour – don’t share your address or school information online and never share log in details (apart from a child with a parent/ carer)
Set some rules and boundaries for use of the Internet and technology and ensure children are only active on age-appropriate accounts that are suitably monitored by an adult (agree this with your child)
Talk about risks and dangers – there’s no need to be explicit or scare your child, but make sure they are aware that there are dangers from cyberbullying or talking to strangers online.
Explore the online world together – it can help your child to develop basic IT skills if they observe how you use computers and other devices to access browsers and email accounts.
Encourage children not to share too much information online and to be aware that once they post or share an image, video or message, people who are not their friends could see it.
Teach children its ok to talk to friends online but never to talk to strangers – parents/carers should know everyone personally on their friends list. In their innocence, children take it for granted that people they meet online are who they say they are. Forums and chatrooms can be dangerous places, and research indicates they are a hunting ground for paedophiles and those wanting to harm children.
Teach children to speak to a grown up if someone says something that makes them feel scared, worried or unsure. Tell them not to delete messages until a grown-up has seen them.