Tips for parents
NSPCC and 02
The NSPCC is in partnership with 02 to provide a helpline to keep your children safe online. There are lots of tips on their website below and they offer a free helpline to give personal advice for online safety whenever you need it.
If you have a question about online safety, parental controls or concern about a social network your child uses, expert advisors on a free helpline are there to help.
Call Online Safety Helpline 0808 8005002
Parental controls are an important way to keep your child safe online. Parental controls can be used to block upsetting or harmful content, control in-app purchases or manage how long your child spends. Parental controls are easy to set up.
Parental controls are software and tools which you can install on phones or tablets, games consoles or laptops- and even your home broadband.
You can also use them to help you block or filter content your child sees when searching online.
Parental controls are also available to help you to:
• plan what time of day your child can go online and how long for
• stop them from downloading apps they’re too young for
• manage the content different members of the family can see.
So whatever your child is doing online, there’s a way that you can help keep them safe.
For more information about being smart on the internet read the following tips:
Be Share Aware:
Talk about what’s ok and not ok to share online.
Talk to your child about what 'personal information' is - such as email address, full name, phone number, address and school name - and why it's important.
Explain simple ways to protect privacy. For example, avoiding usernames like full names, birthdates or locations that give away too much information.
Discuss images and photos, and what might be appropriate. Help your child understand how photographs can give people a sense of your personality, and that sharing the wrong kind of image can give the wrong impression.
Explain that it isn't easy to identify someone online. People aren't always who they say they are, so don't share personal information. If it's someone who genuinely knows your child, they shouldn't need to ask for personal information online.
Tell your child that if they're in any doubt they should talk to you first.
If you are worried about your child online or need further tips or advice about how to talk to your child about online safety visit the below website:
Have a conversation:
Give your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen, telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities. Tell them they must tell an adult straight away if they are worried about something.
Conversation starter ideas:
Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
Think about how you use the internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online?
A family agreement is a great way to start a conversation with your whole family about how you all use the internet and discuss together how to behave in a positive way when online at home, at school or at a friends house. The family agreement advice document on the below link, provides a list of things to consider when creating a family agreement and some examples. The family agreement template provides a framework that will help families set clear expectations for positive and safe internet use.
General E-Safety advice:
- Install good parental controls
- Do not assume that any game or channel such as You Tube Kids is harmful material-free
- Look out for secretive or out of character behaviour
- Monitor what your children are doing online as much as possible
- Tell children why they should not give out personal information or friend anyone they don’t know
- Enable privacy settings and keep them up to date
- Ensure topics are addressed with a calm, careful, considerate and age- appropriate approach in order to discuss the importance of being safe on the internet
- Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to be and that you’re just looking out for them. Tell them they should speak up and not keep secrets if something is worrying them.