Today the internet is such an integral part of children’s lives, it opens up so many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to, quite literally a world of information and experiences.
Whether on a computer at school, a laptop at home, a games console or mobile phone, children and young people are increasingly accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are.
As you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe whatever they are doing. Like learning to cross the road, online safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so – particularly from those people who might seek them out to harm them.
We have included some useful tips on the back of this leaflet but we would recommend that you visit one of the enclosed websites where you will find professional help and advice on how to keep your child safe as well as some very useful tools to assist you.
Here are some safety tips:
Know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to.
Ask them to teach you to use any applications you have never used.
Keeping the computer in a family room means that you can share your child’s online experience – and that they are less likely to act inappropriately (i.e. via webcam).
Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends — personal information includes their messenger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family or friends.
If your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone may be looking at their images and one day a future employer could!
If your child receives spam/junk email & texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them.
It’s not a good idea for your child to open files that are 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.
Help your child to understand that some people lie online and therefore it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
Always keep communication open for a child to know that it’s never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.
Teach young people how to block someone online and how to report them if they feel uncomfortable.