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…