Keeping Children Safe Online

As a parent, the internet can seem like a scary place, allowing your child to access all sorts of things that you’d rather they didn’t.  However, in this increasingly online world, simply banning internet access is unlikely to be a viable option and it doesn’t have to be.  By taking some simple steps, you can help to make sure that your child is safe online. 

Having an awareness of how to keep your child safe on the internet is the first step and by visiting this website, you’re already starting that.  Young people’s use of the internet regularly changes and may include; visiting websites, social media, chat rooms and online gaming.  It’s important to remember that there are lots of ways to access the internet including through computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and even smart watches. 

Did you know that usually these devices can have restrictions or ‘parental controls’ put onto them to prevent your child accessing content that is not appropriate for them?  Each device will be different but usually, there will be a guide to parental controls included when you purchase the device, or the steps you need to take will be part of the device’s set up sequence.  It’s important therefore not to let your child set up the device on their own without you being present. 

As well as parental controls on specific devices, you can also apply parental controls to your home’s internet connection through your internet provider.  Again, advice on how to do this varies depending on your provider but there will usually be information provided within the accompanying paperwork of your internet connection equipment.  If not, you can contact your internet provider for further advice on what steps you need to take. 

With so many ways of accessing the internet … or of the internet accessing your child … keeping them safe may seem like a daunting task.  Once you understand the basics of the internet, the next stage is to talk to your child about how they use the internet and how to keep themselves safe, we have prepared some information on doing this which you can find here.

Don’t forget, although the online world can be a risky place for children and young people, by taking steps to make sure they’re safe, the internet can be beneficial for their education and even their social development.

 

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