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Monday, 7 June 2021

Exploring Internet Safety With Your Child

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Technology and the internet is everywhere nowadays and as your child grows they’ll begin to use the internet more often for both studying purposes and for their own entertainment, with friends and for hobbies. The internet is a great way of interacting and accessing lots of important things your child will use to help them grow and understand a lot of elements within the world. 



However, there is also a cloud of uncertainty when children are accessing the internet in terms of safety and the risks of going online. Even as adults we have to take measures to stay safe and can be caught out by scams or other things online. Luckily, this guide from this independent school in Yorkshire will provide you with the right guidance to protect your child online. 


Ask them what they’ll be using the internet for 


Talking to your children about being online and using the internet is key. If your child is keen to use the internet for revision and studying resources, as a lot of them will be as they approach their exam years, then it’s going to be helpful for them to have your support. You can talk to them about being sensible, about using it for certain purposes only and of course discussing any possible dangers with them. Things like not clicking on unknown links, ads or talking to strangers online. You can also direct them to the best websites for their studying, and teachers will often recommend the best and safest websites for them to access too. 

 

Of course you can’t blame them for being curious - the internet is a vast place and they will want to discover what they can use it for further than their own studying needs. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways this can be done safely which is why it is so important to explain how to do so. 

 

Games, forums and social media are usually equipped with safety measures to deter any offensive language but it is still important to discuss any dangers such as people they do not know, age limits of certain sites and social media as well as things like phishing scams and viruses. 


Sit with them as they use the internet 


The first few times they use the internet it’s best to sit with them and see how they use the internet. It’s a good way to see how they access sites and to also point out parts of a website that could cause alarm, for example - pop up ads and phishing attempts. If you child is younger and you are worried about them being online you could have the computer or laptop in a communal space such as a living room so you can see and hear what they are doing and be on hand to offer help when needed. 

 

They’ll soon be able to identify these for themselves if you provide the right guidance early on. You can use it as a quiz for them to see if they remember what they’re taught on a regular basis, as well as the extra training and advice they’ll get from school. 

 

The internet is a very accessible resource and there are a lot of safety measures implemented to protect children. Informing them of the many issues they could see on the internet will arm them for the future as they begin to use the internet on a regular basis. As parents we can also ensure we are doing are part by ensuring the security settings on devices are up to date and relevant for the people using the device (you can often set up separate kids profiles with stricter settings too). 



 Whilst we cannot escape the use of technology in the modern day we still need to teach our children about the dangers and responsibility that comes with being online. Being open and honest seems to be key to safe internet use for everyone. 


Do you let your children online? If so what measures do you take to keep them safe? 


xXx


**This is a collaborative post.**

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