We all have a responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe whilst using technology. A large proportion of children’s exposure to and use of the internet takes place outside school as they have access to an ever-increasing range of technology that links to the internet e.g. phones, iPads, smart watches, television and game consoles. Children often use the internet for entertainment, interaction and communication with friends and people they do not know, resulting in risks which adults were not faced with.
It has never been more important for parents/carers to understand how their children use the internet and related technology, so that they can help to manage the risks that exist and reinforce the important eSafety messages that we should all be promoting. We hope that the range of useful resources and links to advice below will help you to keep your child safe in the digital world.
- Don’t be afraid to set boundaries for your family in the digital world as you would in the real world.
- Get to know the technology that your child enjoys – challenge them to a game on the Xbox or PlayStation to learn how they communicate with friends and people they don’t know via gaming and social networking sites. You may be surprised to see that this may not be the same way that you use apps.
- Talk openly with your child to understand what they post and share online and help them understand that once something has been put online, it can be seen by anyone and is available forever, even if the photo/video/comments are taken down.
- Social networking websites, game consoles and search engines have parental controls/tools that can help you to make the technology safer for your child.
- Ensure that you have conversations about all the benefits that technology can bring but don’t shy away from difficult subjects like responsible online behaviour, bullying and pornography.
- Expensive technology can make your child a target of criminals so remind them to keep phones in their bag/pocket.