The internet offers great benefits to families, and children are accessing the internet at a younger age than ever before. Parents should take an interest in what their child is doing online and encourage conversation.
Tips for parents
Keep the computer in an open area, not in the child’s room. Also monitor smartphones, tablets and gaming devices and have a set of rules for your child to follow.
Set clear expectations for your child based on their age and maturity. Create a list of websites they should stick to when online.
Your child’s teacher will be able to advise you on which sites ar appropriate for schoolwork and educational fun.
Write down your rules and put them next to the computer.
Explain to your child that staying safe online is just as important as staying safe in the real world and that’s why they should follow the rules.
You can add parental controls to prevent your child from accessing sites that are not age appropriate. You can also view the history of sites accessed.
People who introduce themselves on the internet may not be who they appear to be.
As part of the rules include an instruction to your child not to give out any personal information. Passwords should be secure and not shared with other children, parents should be involved in setting up the passwords.
Bullying can take place online and should be tackled in the same way as if it was taking place in school
Ask your child’s school if they are providing online safety lessons in the curriculum. If you are not confident with IT, your child’s school may be able to advise you on setting up parental permissions.