Using the internet is great for young people’s education and development. It opens up exciting new opportunities for learning. Whatever they’re up to – researching a school project, chatting with friends or playing a game – your children are likely to spend even more time surfing the web as they get older. Fortunately there are some simple things you can do to help them surf safely and feel confident about learning online.
How can I help keep my child safe online?
In today’s society, technology plays an important part in the lives of most children and young people. So much so, that not allowing them to use it could put them at a social disadvantage. But how do you give them the freedom to explore the online world safely without you peering over their shoulder all the time? As a parent this is always a tricky line to tread and the following advice outlines some of the things that might be useful to you to get that balance right.
Talk to your children about how they use the internet – after all, you wouldn’t let your child go out without knowing where they are going or who they’re with. The same applies in the online world. Take an interest in what they are doing, ask them questions, find out who they’re talking to online and why they enjoy using the internet so much.
Find the time to look at what parental controls are available on your web browser and discuss them with your child. Set boundaries without being too heavy handed and always focus on the positives.
Look at other options available to you to avoid them going onto inappropriate websites, for example filtering and monitoring software.
Talk to your child’s teacher about the school’s ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ and find out what sanctions apply if the rules are broken. If appropriate, you could try to adopt some of these at home.
Make sure your home computer is located somewhere where the whole family can use it. Bear in mind it should be in a place that’s quiet enough to let your children study without distraction.
Find out about some of the risks and issues by visiting:
You can also educate yourself about how to use the internet. There are a lot of places to go for help. For example, why not make use of your local public library? They can tell you about simple but useful skills like advanced internet searching which will help you find the right information quickly. You can also enrol on courses or ask your school if they run parent workshops on how to use technology to support learning.