STAY SAFE ONLINE
👉Can we keep our children safe online?
As parents, we generally do everything we can keep our children safe and well, from getting them to ‘slip, slop, slap’ before going out in the sun, to being careful when crossing a road and always wearing a helmet when cycling. But what are wedoing to protect them from bullies, predators and inappropriate content online?
👇Yes, we can do it using following tips.
· Talk frankly with your child about their online activity.
As soon as your child starts accessing the internet, talk to them about what they are reading, watching and who they are communicating with online and keep the conversation going as they grow older. Ask your child what sites they visit or apps they use, write a list, and look at them together. They must always remember that the internet isn’t private.
· Keep screens and devices where you can see them.
Keep the computer in a central spot in the home where it’s easy to keep an eye on what your child is doing and viewing online. For younger children, you might also consider checking browser histories after your child has been online to see what sites they are visiting.
· Know your parental controls.
Be the parent. You are in charge. Set boundaries and consider using filtering software. For example, the Safe Search Filters feature on Google will block sites with explicit sexual material. To turn it on, go to Settings/Safe Search Filters. Although not 100 per cent accurate, parental controls can help prevent your child from seeing and accessing most violent or sexual material.
· Know who your child’s online friends are.
As adults, we know that some people online aren’t who they say they are, but children and young people can be alarming naive about who they are chatting with if they are not taught to be cyber wise from an early age.
· Be ‘share aware’ to protect your privacy.
Help your child learn to filter information online and navigate fact from fiction. If your child is a regular user of social networks, they must be aware of the risk of personal information or images being made public once they post it.
· Keep control of your family’s digital impression.
Every picture and personal detail that is posted and shared on social media and the internet contributes to someone’s digital impression. The big risk with this is that once information is shared publicly, it can be used in ways you may not expect and cannot control.
· Keep track of online time.
Balance green time and screen time at home. Focus on basic developmental needs. The children between the age of five and 17 should have no more than two hours of screen time a day. So, it’s important to monitor your child’s online time, particularly younger children, to ensure they do not develop bad habits.
· Smart use of Social Network.
Educate yourself on ways to be safe and smart on social networks so that you can give the best advice to your children. If your child uses social networks, be sure they know how to:
Report inappropriate and/or offensive posts
Keep information private.
· Lead by example.
Guide by example and always model the kind of positive online behaviour you would like your children to use. If they see you being cautious and respectable when you are online, they are more likely to follow in your footsteps. And, yes, this includes limiting your own screen time.