“Internet controls or filtering software is in place in only 39% of [UK] households where a child aged 5-15 uses the internet at home – Ofcom ‘Children and parents: media use and attitudes report’ – October 2011.’
TIPS FOR PARENTS:
‘HAVE FREE AND FRANK DISCUSSIONS
Encourage your child to talk to you about how they use the internet and show you what they do. Discuss with them the kinds of things they might come across. A good time to talk is when they get a new device or mention a new website.
MANAGE THEIR DEVICES
Encourage them to use their tech devices in a communal area such as the living room or kitchen and set up a user account for your child. If you think they aren’t old enough to have a mobile phone or tablet, stay firm and explain the reasons why.
PUT YOURSELF IN CONTROL
Activate parental controls on your home broadband, all devices including mobile phones and games consoles. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google (and other search engines), YouTube and on entertainment sites like iTunes and iPlayer.
STAY SAFE ON THE MOVE
Be aware that if your child is accessing the internet using public WiFi they may not have safety features active. Some providers are part of family friendly WiFi schemes with filters to block inappropriate content. Look out for friendly WiFi symbols like Mumsnet Family Friendly WiFi and RDI Friendly WiFi symbols when you’re out and about.
HAVE AN AGREEMENT
Agree and set boundaries with them or have a family contract for their internet use, including when and where they can use portable devices and for how long, before they get used to doing their own thing.
Start discussions about social networking early
Talk to children about the benefits and risks of social networking before they join any sites. Let them know that anything they upload, email or message could stay around forever online.
KEEP PRIVATE INFORMATION PRIVATE
If your child does have a social networking profile, teach them to block or ignore people and how to set strict privacy settings. Request that you or someone you both trust becomes their ‘friend’ or ‘follower’ to check that conversations and posts are appropriate.
CHECK AGE RATINGS
The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. For example, the age limit is 13 for several social networking sites including Facebook and Instagram.’ Internet Matters
Internet Matters provides advice and guidance for parents: INTERNET MATTERS
Online safety tips for parents of children aged 6 – 10 years old
Online safety tips for parents of children aged 11 – 13 years old
Online safety tips for parents of teenagers aged 14 + years old
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