The Internet and online technologies are an important part of children’s lives at home and school, providing great opportunities for learning, communicating, playing and creating. As we know, these technologies create huge opportunities for us all; however, they can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, and present challenges to keeping your family safe online.
It is just as important to be involved in your children’s’ life online, than it is offline. Just as you would ask about their friends at school or the clubs they go to, you should use this approach with the people they meet online – ask the same questions and show the same interest.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is the UK’s national centre dedicated to protecting children from harm both online and offline. CEOP’s Thinkuknow education initiative aims to empower children and young people to enjoy online technologies safely. Each year CEOP celebrates SID to highlight the importance of educating children and young people about their online safety.
To help get you started, CEOP is releasing the ‘Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet’ – a short, entertaining TV-style programme looking at what it’s like to bring up children in the online world. The programme will help you to:
- stay up-to-date with the technology your children are using;
- understand steps you can take to keep your children safe online; and
- know what action to take and where to seek further support if things go wrong.
Visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents, you will be able to view the ‘Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet’ and have access to information and guidance on how to keep your family safe online.
From Facebook and Instagram to Snapchat and Tmblr Net Aware (set up by the NSPCC and O2) is a no-nonsense guide for parents to social media platforms, apps and games that kids use. It outlines some of the risks to children using them, and offers advice on how parents can reduce some of those risks.
More information about privacy on Facebook can be found in the following two publications:
Internet Matters: Information, Advice and Support to keep children safe online.
Childline’s parents factsheet: This A4 factsheet for parents and cares provides a list of useful websites and online resources where you can find out more about social networking, smartphones and tablets, gaming devices, downloading, parental controls and where to get help or report concerns.