Internet Safety Advice: Top 10 Tips for Parents
1. Discover the Internet together
Be the one to introduce your child to the Internet. Try to find web sites that are exciting and fun so that together you achieve a positive attitude to Internet exploration. This could make it easier to share both positive and negative experiences in the future.
2. Agree with your child rules for Internet use in your home
· Discuss when and for how long it is acceptable for your child to use the Internet
·Agree how to treat personal information (name, address, telephone, e-mail)
·Discuss how to behave towards others when gaming, chatting, e-mailing or messaging
·Agree what type of sites and activities are OK or not OK in our family
(remember that it's ok to decide on your rules for your family, whatever others choose to do)
3. Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information
A simple rule for younger children could be that the child should not give out name, phone number or photo without your approval. Older children should be selective about what personal information and photos they post to online spaces. Once material is online you can no longer control who sees it or how it is used. Look for the privacy and security settings with your child and set them together.
4. Talk about the risks associated with meeting online “friends” in person
Adults should understand that the Internet could be a positive meeting place for children, where they can get to know other young people and make new friends. However, for safety and to avoid unpleasant experiences, it is important that children do not meet strangers they have met online.
5. Teach your child about evaluating information and being critically aware of information found online.
Most children use the Internet to improve and develop knowledge in relation to schoolwork and personal interests. Children should be aware that not all information found online is correct, accurate or relevant. Educate children on how to verify information they find by comparing to alternative sources on the same topic. Show them trusted sites they can use to compare information.
6. Don’t be too critical towards your child’s exploration of the Internet
Children may come across inappropriate material by accident on the Web. It is important that they feel that they can tell you if this happens, so avoid scolding. Also a child may intentionally search for such web sites; remember that it is natural for children to be curious about off-limits material. Use this as an opening to discuss the content with them and remind them that there are lots of things online which are not meant for children.
7. Report online material and contact you may consider illegal to the appropriate authorities
It is vital that we all take responsibility for the Web and report matters, which we believe could be illegal. By doing this we can help to prevent illegal activities online, such as child exploitation or grooming. Visit https://www.ceop.police.uk/ceop-reporting/. There is an NSPCC helpline you can ring for advice on 0808 800 5000. If your child is in immediate danger, call 999.
8. Encourage respect for others; stamp out cyberbullying
There is an informal code of conduct for the Internet. These include being polite, using correct language and not yell at (write in capital letters) or harass others. In school we teach children to check what they are posting online using THINK (is it True Helpful Inspiring Necessary Kind) Children as well as grown ups should not read other’s e-mail or copy protected material.
9. Let your children show you what they like to do online
To be able to guide your child with regard to Internet use, it is important to understand how children use the Internet and know what they like to do online. Let your child show you which websites they like visiting and what they do there. Acquiring technical knowledge could also make it easier to make the right decisions regarding your child’s Internet use.
10. Remember that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negatives.
The Internet is an excellent educational and recreational resource for children. There are millions of age-appropriate sites for younger children. Encourage your children to comply with the age restrictions of the site. Help your child apply all the privacy and security settings on the site. Encourage your child to be critically aware and explore the Internet to its full potential