This year, Safer Internet Day will be celebrated on Tuesday 9th of February, aiming to explore reliability online- in conjunction with saferinternet.org.uk
There are lots of fun and interesting information you can find online such as blogs, clothing websites, social media outlets- just to name a couple. But it’s important to separate the accurate information form counterfeit materials. As parents, especially, we want our children to explore the digital world, encouraging them to do so through the correct resources.
Below you can find some tips on how to help your children being safe online:
1: Never share personal information
This applies both to parents and children. Parents should think before they share posts, photos and links. They perform as role models for their children, so they should be responsible of what they are sharing online. Parents also, need to explain to their children what it means “personal information”, such as your last name, your local address, pictures or posts on social media and why they should be cautious about sharing. Finally, they should explain to their children that they can change the settings to make their account private so just people they know can see their activity.
2: Monitor their online activities
Parents should be aware of what their children are looking for on the internet. Ask your children to show you which are their favourite websites, applications and games. This will help you to understand better their activity online and to possibly talk to them about any concerns you might have. You can also use parental controls software, which can give you a pretty good picture of your child’s internet activity and can alert you to problems. But it can also inform you about your children’s new interests.
3: Talk and listen your children
Become friends with your children, so they may not hide anything from you. Talk regularly with your children about how they use technology and where are they looking for the information, they need. Explain them that the internet offers a huge range of information, but not all of them are accurate. Having conversations with your children is the best way to support them.
4: Set an example
Talk to your child about your own experience of the online world. Show them sites and apps that you like to explore and explain why you like them. Show them how to use the internet in a positive way – to research things, to do homework, to talk to family, and to find out about the world. This helps them to have a critical eye. Share with them your own less positive experience online and what you have learnt from this.
5: Check the online content with your child
It is important to reassure them that they can always talk to you if they accidently come across with an upsetting content. Parents should stay calm and to do not overreact if their children have seen something that made them feel worried or upset. They should help them to learn how to avoid similar content in the future and to report any content they find disturbing.