No Limits, Only Possibilities
E-safety: where do we start?
The internet IS a wonderful tool for creative learning – whilst there are dangers, there are so many benefits for learning, fun and creativity.
There is no ‘perfect solution’ to how to help your child deal with the world online. What works for one family will not be appropriate for another. Whilst parental controls are a useful tool they do not replace the benefits of openness, interaction and conversation with young people about the dangers and how to protect themselves.
Suggestions for things to do to help children understand the ways they can keep safe whilst using the internet.
Some really useful websites are:
Talk to your child about what they’re up to online
Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems.
Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child
The Thinkuknow site has films, games and advice for children from five all the way to 16.
Encourage your child to go online and explore!
There is a wealth of age-appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online
Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world
Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space
For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see.
Know what connects to the internet and how
Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet
Such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Find your service provider and learn how to set your controls.
If you have any concerns or would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to speak to us.