What better time than Safer Internet Day, to think about how safe our children are when they are using the online space. Here are five ways to help your child stay safe and Thrive online:
- Take time to set up parental controls properly on all devices that your child is using connected to the Internet. If they are using social media platforms, check the settings are set up appropriately on their profiles. There is plenty of assistance available to help you to do this well, www.internetmatters.org is a good example.
- Educate your child about what the internet is and what it is not: It is an unpoliced space that anyone can pretend to be anyone else. It was not designed with children or young people in mind. If you’re worried that your child is being groomed online or sexually exploited you should report your concerns to CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection) at www.thinkuknow.co.uk.
- Talk to your child regularly about what they are doing on their devices. Ask them about the apps they are using; what they like about it and who they are communicating with. Even ask them to show you how they work. that.
- Remind your child that if they come across anything online that they feel uncomfortable with, they can talk to you about it. Emphasise that they will not be in trouble and that it is never too late to talk.
- Be informed and stay up to date with information about the latest apps and social media trends. Download the Parents’ Guide here: www.webwise.ie.