Top tips for helping your child use the Internet safely

Top tips for helping your child use the internet safely With the NSPCC stating that most children spend on average around 12 hours per week on the internet, it can be overwhelming for most parents to know how to ensure their child’s safety. But with a few key pointers, you and your child can use the internet in a safe way together. Here are a few things to consider: THE BASICS 2738451853_6e0015ef91_z Before your child even encounters the internet, it’s important that you discuss the dangers of it with them very early on. So rather than try and cover all of the perils of the internet all at once, why not discuss your internet activity openly with the child, so that they can learn from you what is relevant and what is potentially dangerous. It’s also important to set up ground rules as to your child’s internet use, such as which sites they have access to and how long they are allowed to use the internet for. PARENTAL CONTROLS 9441141356_65064a3e12_b Get to know the parental controls that your internet service provider (ISP) offers. ISPs such as TalkTalk, Virgin Media , Sky and BT all offer packages that limit the access that your child has to websites that may feature unsuitable content. You can also do things like set the web brower’s homepage to something child-friendly. And checking the age ratings on the websites that your child visits will also considerably lessen any harmful effects. PERSONAL INFORMATION social-network-76532_640 A very simple thing to teach your child when introducing them to the internet is to never share any personal information. This is often not as straightforward as it seems, as many social networking sites such as Facebook note your location when you check in, and Instagram also makes a feature of users tagging photos that can inadvertently reveal personal information. GAMING images One of the biggest draws for children using the internet will be online gaming. While this may seem perfectly innocent, many games encourage users to spend real money in order to buy extra lives or access extra levels. This could lead to your child inadvertently running up huge bills trying to further themselves in a game. And a lot of gaming sites such as Casino Saga will clearly state a minimum age to play on games where you can spend and win money online. So it is well advised to monitor your child’s internet activity and make sure that they are aware of the seriousness of these age restrictions. SOCIAL NETWORKS Social_Networking_Icons_by_deleket And once your child is a little older, they will inevitably want to start using social networks. In this instance, it’s very important that they understand that strangers can lie about themselves online so as to lull young people into a false sense of security. Whilst your child may not want one of their parents befriending them online so as to check up on their behaviour, a good middle ground would be to agree to have a ‘trusted adult’ as an online friend to ensure that your child is not doing anything potentially harmful online.

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