Summer’s here: It’s a great time for your children to enjoy more time with you and maybe head off for a family holiday. However, the long days home from school also mean that they will probably be spending more time online… whether it’s on social media, playing games or watching videos. You want your children to be sociable and inquisitive, but above all, to be safe.
How long are they spending online? What content are they looking at? Who are they talking to?
These days, it’s just as vital to make sure children are safe online as in the street or the park.
Here are some expert tips on helping to protect your children from increasingly commonplace issues such as accessing inappropriate content via websites and streaming, sharing too much personal information, believing fake news, and thinking everyone they meet online is a friend.
Expert tips for being a switched on parent:
Talk regularly with your children about their and your online lives - Get them to show you what they’re doing and try some of the technologies out for yourself. Show you understand how important technology is to them and talk about the benefits. Don’t shy away from discussing responsible behaviour, and talk about bullying and adult content in the appropriate language for their age.
Use parental control software and apps on computers, mobile devices and games consoles, privacy features on social networking sites, and the safety options on search engines.
Tell your children that not everybody they meet online is who they appear to be - Whether they’re on social media, chatrooms, games or YouTube. Be aware that changes in behaviour or moods may be a sign of some kind of online abuse. Find out how to use social networks’ reporting buttons and show your children.
Check lower age limits of social networking and picture sharing sites - and make sure your children aren’t using age-inappropriate sites, apps or games. Download apps only from recognised sources such as App Store and Google Play. Add your own email address when setting up accounts for your children.
Talk to your children about online safety basics - such as not clicking on random links or attachments, good password practice, not turning off internet security programs/apps and firewalls, and not revealing personal information such as their address, current location or private images.
For more information and comprehensive, expert, easy-to-follow advice visit:
To contact Sussex Neighbourhood Watch please E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sussexnwfed.org.uk.