Exploring Internet Safety with Your Child*

 


*This is a collaborative post*

 

Any child who has access to a smartphone or other device that can connect to the internet should be spoken to regularly about being safe online. The internet undoubtedly comes with many advantages and we’d be lost without it. However, for those who are unaware of the risks associated with the internet, it can be quite dangerous. I have teamed up with an independent school in Surrey to help parents find broach the topic of using the internet responsibly with their children.


Chat to your child about which sites and apps are popular among their friends and the ones they’d like to be allowed to use. Do some research around these sites to find out what they are and if they pose any threats. You should also be able to find the age rating. Let your child know which of the websites and apps they’re allowed to use, as well as the ones they are not. This may cause some tension, but if you explain why you’ve set these rules, they should be more understanding. Other rules might include things like never meet up with anyone you’ve only spoken to online, never be mean to someone on the internet, and never share inappropriate photos.


Of course, how much you choose to share with your child about the dangers of the web will depend on their age and maturity. Regardless, it’s worth mentioning that there are people who use the internet to inflict harm on others or steal from them, so it should be used with caution. Make sure your child knows to never share personal information online, such as their address or passwords. 


It might be wise to limit screen use to a certain, communal room in the house i.e. no phones in bedrooms. Check in with your child on a regular basis to find out if they have any concerns about the internet or something they or others may have done or said. The more open and honest you are about these kinds of topics, the more comfortable they will feel sharing their own opinions back. 

 

*Photo source Pexels



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