Parents - we know that devices have been a godsend during these strange and stressful times. They’ve allowed you to keep working from home, but they’ve also helped your children to learn, play, and keep in touch with their friends and family. But all that extra screen time comes with risks, both physical and emotional. So what can you do to make sure that your children stay safe online? Here are a few handy tips to give you some peace of mind...1. Set up parental controls
Parental controls are the best way to make sure your children don’t see anything inappropriate while they’re online. Our Online Safety Guide
has simple step-by-step instructions for your devices and web browsers, as well as information on some of the most popular apps and games out there. Don’t forget to make sure these are active on your mobile network, not just on WiFi!2. Make sure you’re ‘appy with the apps your children are using
Parental controls are also where you can set age limits so children can’t download any apps that are unsuitable for them. Be sure to turn off location sharing in the apps they use regularly. You should also turn off in-app purchases so you don’t get any nasty surprises in your next bank statement!3. Is your child’s screen time balanced?
Instead of worrying about how long your children are spending on screens, think about the ways they’re using them. Are they being active, doing something creative or talking to their friends? Or are they being passive and just watching mindless videos? Think about other things you could do with them to stimulate their creativity.4. Be clear what information can and can’t be shared
We all love to share things online, but we all have some things we should keep private. Make sure your children know not to share personal information like their full name, their school or their address with strangers!5. Make yourself a trusted adult
As well as learning about blocking and reporting inappropriate content, children need to know that they can come to you if they have a problem. If they do share a problem with you, try to actively listen without judging, and make sure you know who else you can turn to if you need extra help. There are all kinds of organisations out there that can help, and we’ve listed a few of them below.6. Start a conversation
We know it can be awkward to talk to your children about what they get up to online, but starting a conversation means they’re more likely to come to you with a problem. Start with open-ended questions, like “How do you feel about…?” We also recommend having ‘sideways conversations - start a chat while you’re in the car, or going for a walk together!7. Don’t just talk about the scary stuff!
It’s important that children see all the positive things about being online, not just the risks. Take an interest in the things they do online and start an ongoing discussion, and you’ll find it much easier to slip the subject of online safety in there!