Internet safety checklist for parents

 Internet safety for Parents

More and more children are using their parents’ computers, smartphones or tablets to play games, use apps, and watch their favourite TV shows. The Internet has brought the world into our homes, from homework help, to online gaming, messaging and researching, our children can gain a lot from the web. At the same time it’s essential to ensure your children’s safety online. They must learn how to use it responsibly and parents should take measures to protect them from potentially harmful content. Here are some tips on how to keep your children safe online.

Online safety is something we take very seriously, and we do our utmost to protect the identity of the children in the photos we use. Please click here for Holiday Academy’s Photo Protocol. Please also sign up to the NSPCC newsletter for their informative ‘Share Aware Campaign

Internet safety checklist for children 0-5

Explore together –Talk to your child about what the internet is and explore it together so you can show them all the great fun and educational things they can do.

Put yourself in control – Install parental controls on your home broadband. Most internet-enabled devices also allow you to set parental controls so you can manage what content your child can see and how they interact with others online.

Use passwords – Keep your devices out of reach and set passwords on all your internet-enabled devices and don’t share them. Then you’ll know when and where your child is accessing the internet. You can also make sure they’re not making additional purchases when they’re playing games or using apps.

Search safely – Use safe search engines such as KidRex or Safe Search Kids. You can save time by adding these to your ‘Favourites’. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.

Manage access – Set your homepage to a child-friendly site like CBeebies and create a user account for your child on the family computer or device which only allows access to sites you’ve chosen.

Be involved – Put your computer or main device in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the internet and also share in their enjoyment.

Help them learn through games You can choose safe, fun and educational online games to play with your child and that you’ll be confident about them exploring. You can find good free of charge examples from companies like Disney Junior, Nick Jr and Fisher Price.

Set boundaries – It’s never too early to start setting boundaries. Set some rules about how long your child can spend online.

Internet safety checklist for young children 6-10

Put yourself in control – Install parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices. Set up a user account for your child on the main device they use and make sure other accounts in the household are password-protected so that younger children can’t access them by accident.

Agree boundaries – Be clear what your child can and can’t do online – where they can use the internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share. Agree with your child when they can have a mobile phone or tablet.

Stay involved – Put your computer or main device in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the internet and also share in their enjoyment.

Talk to siblings – It’s also a good idea to talk to any older children about what they’re doing online and what they show to younger children. Encourage them to be responsible and help keep their younger siblings safe.

Search safely – Use safe search engines such as KidRex or Safe Search Kids.  You can save time by adding these to your ‘Favourites’. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.

Explore together – The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about what they do and what sites they like to visit. If they’re happy to, ask them to show you. Talk to them about being a good friend online.

Use airplane mode – Use airplane mode on your devices when your child is using them so they can’t make any unapproved purchases or interact with anyone online without your knowledge.

Check if it’s suitable – 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 minimum age limit is 13 for several social networking sites, including Facebook and Instagram. Although sites aimed at under-10s like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin also have social networking elements.

 

Internet safety checklist for pre-teens 11-13

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.

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 – Keep the computer or main device 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.

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.

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.

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.

If you’re worried about anything you or your child come across online, you should report it immediately to the relevant organisation and to the site where you or your child saw it. For more information visit www.internetmatters.org

References:

www.netmums.com

www.internetmatters.org

www.mirror.co.uk

Image: www.librestock.com