8 steps to keep your child safe online this month
1. Explore together: Ask your child to show you their favourite websites and apps and what they do on them. Listen, show interest and encourage them to teach you the basics of the site or app.
2. Chat little and often about online safety: If you’re introducing them to new learning websites and apps while school is closed, take the opportunity to talk to them about how to stay safe on these services and in general. Ask if anything ever worries them while they’re online. Make sure they know that if they ever feel worried, they can get help by talking to you or another adult they trust.
3. Help your child identify trusted adults who can help them if they are worried: This includes you and other adults at home, as well as adults from wider family, school or other support services who they are able to contact at this time. Encourage them to draw a picture or write a list of their trusted adults.
4. Be non-judgemental: Explain that you would never blame them for anything that might happen online, and you will always give them calm, loving support.
5. Supervise their online activity: Keep the devices your child uses in communal areas of the house such as in the living room or kitchen where an adult is able to supervise. Children of this age should not access the internet unsupervised in private spaces, such as alone in a bedroom or bathroom.
6. Talk about how their online actions affect others: If your child is engaging with others online, remind them to consider how someone else might feel before they post or share something. If they are considering sharing a photo/video of somebody else, they should always ask permission first.
7. Use ‘SafeSearch’: Most web search engines will have a ‘SafeSearch’ function, which will allow you to limit the content your child can access whilst online. Look out for the ‘Settings’ button on your web browser homepage, which is often shaped like a small cog.
8. Parental controls: Use the parental controls available on your home broadband and all internet enabled devices in your home. You can find out more about how to use parental controls by visiting your broadband provider’s website.
Support your child with films and activities from Thinkuknow
Thinkuknow films and games are a great way to start and continue chats about online safety.
4-7s Jessie & Friends cartoons
A three-episode animated series which helps keep 4-7s safe online. It explores three popular online activities: watching videos, sharing pictures, and online gaming.
If you’re worried that a child is at risk of harm online, you should call the police. Children can make a report to CEOP at https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/.
Other recommended resources
Parent Info – Expert information for parents about digital family life www.parentinfo.org.
NSPCC Net Aware – Provides reviews and guidance on the most popular social networks, apps and games that children use.