The internet is a priceless tool which allows us to connect with people all over the world and provides limitless information at our fingertips. However, the internet also poses many risks, especially for our children. More and more children now have access to the internet from an early age, which can be concerning for parents wanting to shield them from inappropriate content or even online abuse. The key is to educate yourself on internet safety so you are armed with the knowledge to keep your children safe online. An independent sixth form college in London has shared their advice on keeping children safe on the internet, read on to find out more.
Firstly, it is important to discuss internet safety with your child. Talk about which apps they are likely to be using and then take appropriate steps to mediate any risks. For instance, video streaming services usually offer parental control options so you can restrict and monitor the material your child is watching. You can set similar controls on your internet browser to block inappropriate content and many games have the option to switch off the ‘chat’ function to prevent children being contacted by strangers.
It is important to educate your child on the potential threats posed by the internet. These topics can be broached in an age-appropriate manner, however it might be worth considering that if your child is not mature enough to learn all the risks social networking sites pose, then they may not be old enough to be using these sites at all. It is important not to feel pressured to allow your child to use social media apps before you feel they are ready. If you have decided to allow your child to do so then it is important to discuss ground rules, such as never accepting friend or message requests from people they don’t know.