Exploring Internet Safety with Your Child

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Many of us use the internet daily. The internet allows us to access information, shop online, and stay connected with friends and family. However, many parents worry about their children’s safety whilst using the internet.

It is also important to discuss online safety with your child and make them aware of the different online dangers. It is best not to let your child use the internet unsupervised, however, if this isn’t always possible, be sure to have the correct parental controls in place. Here are some tips from an independent school in Letchworth Garden City, on exploring internet safety with your child.

Know the risks
It is a good idea for parents to research internet safety and learn about the dangers your children are susceptible to online. There are many helpful online resources that cover topics from cyberbullying to privacy settings. If you require further advice on internet safety, your child’s school may also be able to help. Talk to your child about how they are spending their time online and regularly check-in to make sure that the content they are viewing is suitable.

Keeping safe
How much you disclose to your child about the dangers of the internet depends on their age and maturity. Explain that talking to strangers online isn't safe and sometimes people aren't who they say they are. Advise your child to never accept friend requests from people they don’t know. It is also crucial to stress to children that they should never meet any strangers they have spoken to online.

Parental controls
Keep an eye on what games, social networks, or websites your children are using and ensure that you have the right parental controls in place. Some online games have the option to switch off the ‘chat’ function so that your children can not make contact with others whilst playing. You can also restrict certain websites and add permissions setting to your children’s devices. This means that you will need to authorise all apps before they are download.

Discuss rules
Discuss safety rules for your child to follow when they are online. For instance, let your child know which websites and apps are off-limits and which ones they are allowed to use. They should also be aware of how long they’re allowed to use their phones or tablets before turning them off. Other rules should include things like never responding to messages from strangers and never sharing personal information online.

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