In order for you to best protect your children from online harm and damage, it is imperative you familiarise yourself with the programs, apps and devices that they are using to ensure their safety online. Technology changes so fluidly and children can be very clever at moving on to the next trending app before we even know of it’s existence! With this in mind, please do stay in the loop with which apps and web pages are being used in your home and how appropriate they may be, especially if they are new as it is often the case that privacy settings and protective factors for young people are somewhat lacking if the demand for use of an app of web page grows quickly.
The Government have produced a useful web page with a host of information regarding how to keep your children safe online – even more crucial during this time with an increased need for online activity. The key topics are outlined below but please do use the link provided to read up on the risk and how to reduce this for each of the headings.
Whilst there are huge benefits to being online in order to stay connected to family and friends during this period, the government recognises many parents may feel concerned about the activities and content their children are accessing. This guidance outlines resources to help keep children safe from different risks online and where to go to receive support and advice.
Keep your child safe online
It is important to have regular conversations about staying safe online and to encourage children to speak to you if they come across something worrying online.
These resources provide guidance for parents and carers to keep children safe online. They will, amongst other things, support you to talk to your child about a range of online safety issues, set up home filtering in a child-friendly way and set up age-appropriate parental controls on digital devices:
- Thinkuknow by National Crime Agency-CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) provides resources for parents and carers and children of all ages to help keep children safe online
- Childnet has developed guidance for parents and carers to begin a conversation about online safety, as well as guidance on keeping under-fives safe online
- Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and NCA-CEOP, providing support and guidance for parents and carers related to the digital world from leading experts and organisations
- NSPCC has guidance for parents and carers to help keep children safe online
- UK Safer Internet Centre provides tips and advice for parents and carers to keep children safe online – you can also report any harmful content found online through the UK Safer Internet Centre
What harms might my child experience online?
You may have concerns about specific harms which children can experience online. There are more resources to help you understand and protect your child from different harms online, including:
- child sexual abuse – a definition
- exposure to radicalising content
- youth-produced sexual imagery (‘sexting’)
- exposure to age-inappropriate content, such as pornography
- exposure to harmful content, such as suicide content
Follow this link for the full webpage…
Online Safety UK are providing free online zoom sessions to support parents with a range of issues all parents are likely to face around your children’s online activity.
The next zoom session is TOMORROW – Tuesday 16th June at 10AM (lasting 45 minutes). The title for this one is:
How to start a conversation with your children about their online world
Use the link below to register yourself for this useful event:
Future sessions will be covering the following topics which I will post on the blog when they take place.
- Age ratings and apps/games to watch out for
- How to digital detox after lockdown (Adults and children)
I would love to hear from any parents that have taken part in the session to receive your feedback.
Now more than ever, your children will be accessing devices and online interactivity for a multitude of reasons – home learning, communicating with friends and family, entertainment and streaming to name a few.
Our fab E Safety partner from Online Safety UK has shared some really informative yet concise resources that I have linked below for parents and carers to have a look at to ensure that you are up to date with the best way to do you bit to keep children safe online and managing their screen time effectively.
Understandably, implementing screen time management during a period where you are at home more than ever is a hard task, however it will go a long way in reducing the shock of transitioning out of lockdown measures and returning to school in which ever capacity they may face in the coming weeks and months.
It is in your interest as a family wherever possible to try and keep a sense of routine and structure to your days including (but not exhaustively): home learning, outdoor time, family time, art/craft projects, reading, screen time and talk time. For this to have effect and not become a chore to do, it is best to try and create this plan WITH your child so they feel a sense of control and ownership over their time.
Have a go at trying to plan you daily routine and make sure you are always aware of your children’s gaming, youtube and online content – good luck!