The Internet is undeniably an amazing tool with many benefits. It allows us to access information instantly and stay connected with friends and family, even if they live on the other side of the world. However, the Internet can also be a very dark place and many parents are rightfully worried about their children’s safety while they are using the Internet.
When your child reaches an appropriate age, it’s a good idea to discuss the risks of Internet safety with them so that they are aware of the different online dangers.
Here’s some advice from an independent day school in Surrey on teaching your kids about Internet safety.
Start by doing some research about Internet safety so that you can actually give your child some informed advice.
There are numerous resources online that cover subjects from scamming to cyberbullying.
Chat about online safety
Have a chat with your tween and find out how they are actually spending their time online. Be sure to check-in on a regular basis to make sure everything is ok. How much you choose to tell them about the dangers of the Internet depends on their age and maturity, so it’s up to you what you decide to disclose.
You can start by explaining that talking to strangers online is just as dangerous as in person and let them know that people can sometimes pretend they are someone else. Make sure their social media profiles are set to private and advise your child to never accept friend requests or follows from people they don’t know in the real world.
Your child may have some questions, which you should answer as honestly as possible. Try your best to keep an eye on what social networks, chat rooms or games your child is using and make sure that you have suitable parental controls in place.
Establish some rules
Once you’ve discussed with your child how they plan to use the Internet, let them know which websites and apps you’re comfortable with and which ones you’d prefer they avoid.
Set some strict rules and also encourage them to limit screen time to ensure they are getting enough exercise and socialisation.
Other rules include things like never respond to threatening messages and never share personal information online.
If you require any additional advice on internet safety, your child’s school might also have some more information.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Dunottar School.