Keeping our Kids Safe Online
In today's world, devices are everywhere and our kids (digital natives) are comfortable in the online space. Whilst this is one of the key ways they communicate with peers and it comes naturally to them, there are risks involved.
Here's a few tips to help you better protect your kids online:
Talk to each other:
Chat with your child about what they are doing online. Who they are interacting with and on what sites. Don't forget many games (and gaming sites) your child may visit will have opportunities to connect online.
Agree what's ok and don't use judgmental language and check in regularly.
Use Parental Controls:
Using parental controls to some of us can feel over-bearing, but they are an important tool in helping protect your child online. You can control what content is delivered to your child and also how long they are in certain sits and what environments.
Limiting time is important. Modern apps often use aggressive algorithms to constantly serve up content that will encourage staying on their platform. Utilising time limit controls can help you support a healthy balance between online and offline.
You can also ensure apps and sites they access are age appropriate.
Keep devices and screens where you can see them:
Avoid letting your child lock themselves away in a bedroom or bathroom where you can't keep an eye on what they are accessing or posting.
Through smart phone family sharing log ins, you can also create settings that allow you to monitor access and better understand the sites they are visiting.
Promote being private:
Talk to your child about being private and educate them on what they should and shouldn't share online. Remind them that once an image is shared online it could be there forever as part of their digital footprint.
Be cautious about sharing locations through apps - they may be sharing their location with people that don't need to know. Once again by using parental controls through linking accounts on smart phones you limit location sharing.
Remind them they don't always need to geo tag where they are posting from and show them how they can change this in their settings.
Know who they are talking to online.
You can friend or follow them on social media so you can keep an eye on who they are interacting with and importantly who they are posting to.
Understand where they are:
Understanding what social networks they are using and what sites is important to helping you have the conversations in the right way of how they should protect themselves online.
Check what profiles they are using, are you aware of all them?
Lead by example:
If you have stressed the importance of limiting time online, do that yourself. Don't get home from work and immediately jump on social networks to catch up on the latest.
Make sure you have time away from devices.
Remember they are a kid:
You might be pretty uncool or to them seem like you are a million miles away from understanding them. They might be confident and proud they know what they are doing, but they are still a kid, still in your care and your rules apply.
You can find out some more useful information here: