Introducing your children to online… Where do I begin?
The internet provides wonderful opportunities for our children through education and social engagement. As we move more and more towards digital, our children will use online for school, research, socialising with friends and fun i.e. games/social platforms.
Whilst we embrace the online world and all it’s benefits, it is important to be aware of some of it’s exposures. We hope that through this section, we can guide you when introducing your children to the online world, start the conversation with them and explore the internet together in a safe and fun environment.
Parental Controls & Privacy settings are helpful, but are not a full solution to exposures and risks of online. It is important to keep talking to your child and let them know they can talk to you or a trusted adult if they come across something inappropriate or are approached by a stranger online.
Here are some tips we hope you find helpful when talking to your child before going online.
1. Talk to your child about all the fun they can have online through games/Kids YouTube and apps. If your child would like to go on Youtube, as most do, download Kids Youtube to ensure they only access age appropriate content. Likewise, download google safe search as a browser for your kids to reduce risk of accessing inappropriate content.
2. Go online together and see what they like doing online, what games they or their friends are playing. In that way, you can check whether games are suitable for your child. Check the age rating for games on http://www.pegi.info/en/index/id/33/
3. Ask them how they can stay safe online and teach them some tools to protect themselves. They shouldn’t accept a friend or contact request from someone that they don’t know and trust.
4. Great Tip – instead of a profile pic, to protect your child’s identify, why not put up a picture of their pet, their favourite animal or teddy instead. Don’t include any personal details i.e. name/age/date of birth/where you live.
5. Talk to your children about privacy settings, look at them together on all platforms i.e., games, apps, social media and show them how they can report or block someone or something that may upset them. Find out more on parental controls.
6. If using a messaging app, talk to your children about online behaviour. If you wouldn’t speak to someone like that, it’s not okay to put it online. If they are in a group where people are not being nice, they should come off the group.
7. Talk to your children about sharing posts i.e. chain mail, pictures, personal information, opinions of others. Discuss what is and isn’t appropriate and before they post, think of how it could make people feel.