(From Tusla’s parenting24seven website)
You can help your child get the benefits of using the internet while avoiding some of the risks. Here are some guidelines for keeping your child safe on the internet:
Be informed and ‘net-savvy’
The best safeguard against online dangers is being informed and familiar with the internet. Often children know more about new technology than adults so it’s important you know your way around the internet and then you can help children protect themselves from various internet dangers.
Keep the computer in a busy part of the house, where the screen can always be seen. Let the children know that their activities on the computer will be supervised.
Helping Children Use Computers
Use the Internet with your child. Let them lead but stay with them until you are sure they using it appropriately. You can also check your Internet browser history to make sure they have been accessing suitable sites.
Keep an open dialogue
Keep the communication lines open and cultivate an interest in children’s online activities—their favourite Web sites, online games and interests, and discuss what they are doing. Talk to your children about the benefits and dangers of the Internet and don’t be afraid to ask who they are talking to online and what they are talking about. Tell your child always to let you know if an online ‘friend’ they don’t know in real life wants to meet them.
Agree on a game plan / rules of use
Discuss computer guidelines and rules for using the internet with the children. Post a print out of these rules near the computer as a reminder.
|Possible issues to include in these guidelines are:|
InternetSafety is one website that has an example of a Family Game Plan that you can use.
Protect your computer
Take advantage of the software that exists to help parents manage their children’s computer experience. In only a few minutes, parental control software such as Magic Desktop or Safe Eyes can block inappropriate websites, restrict the amount of time that your kids use the Internet, and monitor their Instant Messenger chats to protect against predators.
Mobile phones can also access the Internet these days and the above rules/gameplan need to be applied if your child has access to the internet through their phone. If your child is sent inappropriate material, pictures or texts on their phone they need to let a parent/ supervising adult know. Again it is vital that the lines of communication are kept open so that you know what messages your child is sending and receiving.
For more Key Messages check out https://www.tusla.ie/parenting-24-seven/6-12-years/