Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems. Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child. The www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents has films, games and advice for child from five all the way to 16.
There is a wealth of age-appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.
Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see.
Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. There is a link on the ‘Think u Know’ website which can help you find your service provider and set your controls.
Personal information includes their messanger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family and friends. If your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone could be looking at their images!
It’s not a good idea for your child to open files from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain—it could be a virus or worse—an inappropriate image or film.
They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.