Staying Safe Online
Due to increasing concerns over children’s access to online activities, we will publish a series of weekly tips to keep the topic high profile and help us work together to ensure children are safe online.
Remember, you’re in charge
At the end of the day, remember you’re the parent. Set boundaries and consider using filtering software and parent controls on devices (but be aware that this is only part of the solution).
There are a lot of options for parental controls on the market. This guide from Common Sense Media is a useful starting point to figure out what might work for your family.
Check age ratings on games and apps
If your child is accessing games and apps before the recommended age, be aware that they will be coming into contact with others much older than they are, especially in the chatrooms and forums. Are you aware of the nature of the chats? Is the language appropriate? If you are unhappy with what is happening, sit with your child and together find activities you both enjoy. We want children to enjoy the advantages of technology – there is far more good than bad!
Have device-free zones or times
Try to make set points of the day device-free. For example straight after school, meal times and the hour before bedtime are all good suggestions. What children love more than anything is face-to-face time with families, chatting, playing games, watching a favourite film together and so on. If you don’t already have some set times, try it out for yourselves, including adults in the home, and see what happens.