Most of our kids are going to be online quite a bit over the next few weeks. No matter how we feel about it, this is going to be the norm. As parents, we are also going to be alongside them – pretty much cheek by jowl – for much of the foreseeable future.
Our children are staying in because that is the safest place for them at this moment, this is exactly what the Government recommends.
We need to ensure they are also safe when they are online.
It therefore feels like there has never been a better time to find out more about what our children are doing behind their headphones, and to set up appropriate safety measures to ensure their online experience is a good one.
Here at Social Vision, as you can imagine, we are not experts on online safety. So when we see a site that answers many of our questions, we want to share it.
All the content in this blog has been taken from the NSPCC website. Feel free to go straight there and read it all for yourself. Below is our cut down version of some their information.
How to talk about online safety
It can be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what they’re doing online or who they might be speaking to. But talking regularly, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you. It can help to:
- reassure them that you’re interested in their life, offline and online. Recognise that they’ll be using the internet to research homework as well talking to their friends.
- ask your child to show you what they enjoy doing online or apps they’re using so you can understand them.
- be positive but also open about anything you’re worried about. You could say “I think this site’s really good” or “I’m a little worried about things I’ve seen here.”
- ask them if they’re worried about anything, and let them know they can come to you.
- ask them about their friends online and how they know they are who they say they are.
- listen for the reasons why your child wants to use apps or site you don’t think are suitable, so you can talk about these together.
- ask your child what they think’s okay for children of different ages so they feel involved in the decision making.
Tips to keep your child safe
1.Visit Net Aware
Get expert advice on the top apps, sites and games children are using using, how to set up parental controls, latest news and more with Net Aware.
2. Talk to your child
Talk to them about what they’re doing online and how they can stay safe. Let them know they can come to you, or another adult they trust if they’re feeling worried or upset by anything they’ve seen online. They can also get support from Childline.
3. Explore apps and sites together
Explore what your child likes to do online together. This can help you to understand why they’re using certain livestreaming or video apps. You can use Net Aware to help you.
4. Agree what’s appropriate together
Agree your own rules as a family when using apps, sites or games. You can use our family agreement templateto help get you started.
5. Check your settings
Check the technology your family uses and use privacy and location settings to keep your child safe. You can call our 02 NSPCC Advice Line for support on 0808 800 5002.
What is inappropriate or explicit content?
As children start to explore the internet, they may come across content that isn’t suitable for their age, or that may upset them or worry them. Inappropriate content can include:
- terror attacks, beheadings and bombings
- cruelty to humans and animals
- self-harm sites
- pro-anorexia and eating disorder content
- pro-suicide content
- sexual abuse and rape
- violence and distressing content
- hate sites
- online porn.
If your child has seen inappropriate content
Sometimes, innocent searches can lead to not so innocent results. And sometimes, children may look for things because they’re curious.
It’s important to know how to reassure young people and help them know what to do and where to go for support if they see inappropriate content online.
If your child has seen inappropriate content online, you can:
- talk with them about what they’ve seen – let them know what is, and isn’t, appropriate for their age.
- reassure them they can come to you, another trusted adult or Childline if they’re worried about something.
- get advice on setting up parental controls.
- report any inappropriate, illegal, explicit, identifying or distressing content to CEOP through their website.
- block any distressing, inappropriate or upsetting content on social media websites. You can learn how to do this through Net Aware.
Find out more what the NSPCC has to say about: