• Thomas Scannell

Keeping your child safe from the Internet?

It’s 2019 and the whole world is online! The older generation must accept the fact that we are past the age of dial-up speeds, we are in the era of Wi-Fi, where some of the devices your children have access to, have more computing power than the spaceship used to fly to the moon! Let’s face it, our children have instant access to the world!

But all this access comes at a cost, and the cost is safety!

The internet has given rise to online sex predators, online scammers, online bullying… making anyone with access to the internet a target, and that includes our children! You may never physically meet the perpetrator of the crime, you don’t even have to leave your house, how scary!

Naturally, as a parent, your first instinct is to try and seize control of your child’s online life by restricting access to internet or not allowing them to have access to a phone. Nonetheless, instead of trying to dominate your child’s life, you should try educating them on being responsible online, about privacy (ensuring they understand that accounts can be blocked, deleted and apps can be erased).

The biggest concern over the internet is that it’s ever-evolving, and us as, parents can be left behind quickly! I’m going to leave some helpful tips that I hope you can use to teach your children and yourself about internet safety.

Hope you enjoy!

1. Don’t post any personal information online.

This includes your address, email address or mobile number, this information is personal and should be kept that way to avoid strangers being able to contact you.

If your child is planning on being a famous YouTuber or any other type of social media influencer (yes, they are called influencers), you should explain the importance of creating contact information solely for that media platform. As a parent, you should also be supportive, and ask if you can manage them in their venture, this will allow you to have more time with your child and see what they are getting up to.

2) Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself.

Teach your children that once a picture is uploaded online, it may be there forever. It’s important for them to understand that the media they post can be viewed by anyone and can be easily downloaded and shared by others.

3) Keep your privacy settings as high as possible.

There are people out there who can’t wait for you to slip up and once they gain access to your computer or your phone they will be able to get passwords, pictures and whatever else they may want from you.

4) Don’t befriend people you don’t know.

With the rise of online gaming, your child is opening themselves to a new world that you have no control over. You need to explain to them that these people are online friends, and should at no cost meet up with them.

Allow your child to speak with you and express how they feel, this will create an environment where they feel comfortable to let you know things and ask for advice, the alternative is they do it and don’t tell you anything.

5) Think carefully about what you say before you post something online.

Explain to your children that if you’re not willing to say something in the real world it’s best that you don’t share that opinion online.

They may not understand that content posted today, can come back in 20 years and ruin their lives, therefore impressing upon them the importance of respecting other people’s views, even if they may not agree with them is crucial.

6) If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried.

They should leave the website, game, chat room, etc. teach them they can turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately.

There are several apps you can use to allow you to parent from a distance while your child is online, here are a few that can help put your mind at ease to start viewing the internet as a good thing rather than something to fear.

1. GoHenry

A Great way to track what your children are using their pocket money on.

gohenry | The smart approach to pocket money for children The gohenry pocket money card is a smart solution for managing your child's money and giving money to children, through…www.gohenry.co.uk

2. Google Parental Account

When setting your child’s phone up to be sure to make it a child’s account governed by you, this will allow you to see apps your child’s using but also restricts usage of apps.

Create a Google Account for your child You can create a Google Account for your child under 13 (or the applicable age in your country), and manage it using…support.google.com

3.Gaming console safety features

Xbox and PlayStation have safety features that will allow you to control what kinds of content each of your family members can access on their console.

Make sure you use these features and explain to your child why you’re doing so.

Core Family Safety Features | Xbox One Security Learn about the family safety features of Xbox One and how to use them to control how your family interacts with the…support.xbox.comPlayStation Safety

Stay in control of all aspects of your family's safety while using PlayStation games, products and services.www.playstation.com

Child online safety should be a priority, please feel free to contact me to discuss any issues that may arise..

Thomas Scannell

Play Co ordinator @ Simply Kids

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