Online Safety Overview
Discuss as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what should be kept private online and decide rules for making and meeting online friends. Make sure you know what your child is doing online much like you would offline. 1 in 4 children arrange to meet someone face to face that they have spoken to online.
Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use parental control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact. Remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child.
Locate your computer in a supervised family area. Always supervise the use of webcams and applications which allow voice or video chat. Consider your child’s use of other devices that allow internet access such as mobile phones, tablets, games consoles or smart TV's.
- Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour with your child.
- Always ensure your child knows how to block or report people online who send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply. Screen shots can be kept as evidence, if needed by appropriate agencies to pursue and take necessary steps of action.
- Make sure your child knows to tell an adult they trust if they see something online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
- It’s essential to be realistic – banning the internet or technology will not work and it often makes a child less likely to report a problem. Education around safe use is essential.