With the rise of virtual reality and live video giving the ability to chat in real time wherever you are
it’s becoming more indistinguishable where real life ends and your online presence begins,
which means safety online needs to be in place more than ever, especially for our children.
Below I have outlined some basic tips (besides the obvious parental controls) on how to make sure your little ones online experience can be pleasant and more importantly safe.
I think this is the most important aspect.
If you are going to constantly watch over their shoulder, chances are they will be more inclined to explore things they shouldn’t be when you aren’t around.
Try and explore apps and sites together, take an interest in what they like to do online and research it. That way you have a better chance of nipping anything in the bud before it escalates.
Let them know that you will not overreact and that you are there to help them if they feel uncomfortable with anything they have seen.
Social network advice
I think the best way to tackle this is to allow your child to have
social profiles when they are ready.
Before letting them loose make sure they know the following:
How to block someone.
How to report inappropriate content
How to keep their profile and information private.
There are some useful tips you can find here: Net Aware
A lot of us had pen pals when we were younger and it’s not a completely bad thing to talk to people online, but it is important that they are aware not to share personal information and let you know if they are made to feel uncomfortable.
Be aware of what you share
Let them know the consequences of what sharing personal information can have and how within minutes anything you share could be everywhere in minutes.
I have seen an experiment that parents have held in the past asking people to comment where they are from and share the post.
The results are astonishing with people from all across the globe seeing and commenting on the image within minutes.
Lead by example
This is also an important one.
Children replicate what we do, if we are glued to our phones, tablets or computers all the time, our kids will follow suit.
The less screen time we have, the less of chances we have of falling in to any danger.
Even let the kids see how you use the internet and social media to set an example and vice versa chances are you will probably learn a thing or two!
Other places to read about children's safety online:
Get Safe Online