If you are a parent starting to think about helping your children stay safe on line, here are 5 ideas to get you started:
1. Talk and share
Find opportunities to talk to your children about their online world – this will vary widely depending on their age. What games do they play? Who are the “stars” of their world? – youtubers? instagrammers? Have they been upset by others? Are they ever unkind to others online? If they use social media do they mind if you follow them? Do they know where the controls are for all the sites and apps they use?
2. Helpful websites
Some good places to start finding out about risks and remedies are these (see also the much longer list on the Links to help parents page)
http://www.parentsprotect.co.uk/internet_safety_links.htm ~ short articles on a range of relevant issues
https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/ ~ use the links to dive down to good advice
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk ~ search the forums for “internet safety” and see what other parents are talking about
3. Setting limits
You will probably want to use some technological help to keep your children safe (but remember nothing is foolproof!). A great place to start is http://parentalcontrols-on.org/ where you can quickly find out how to limit various devices. If you are in the Hull region and using KC services you can get information on its parental controls here: http://www.kcomhome.com/products/broadband/parental-controls/
4. Maybe a book
There are a range of books (real books, made out of paper, like the old days!) which parents can use, especially with younger children. Here are a couple of suggestions:
A range of books featuring “Webster” by Hannah Whaley with internet safety themes – they are good value and should be easy to find from booksellers. Suitable for early Primary aged children.
Digiduck’s Big Decision is a highly appealing story available as a book, a PDF and as an app for phones and tablets. It is available via bookshops but is probably much cheaper from Childnet at http://www.childnet.com/shop/resources/digiducks-big-decision-storybook
5. Talk to someone else and take control
You are not alone – all parents are in the same boat. Some know how to sail the boat, some can drive it if it has a motor, some know how to tie it up, but no-one needs to feel cast adrift! [hope you get this boat metaphor or else this will seem weird!]
Why not ask other parents – especially if they have other children a year or two older than yours – or talk to someone in the school? Whatever you do, don’t give up, cross your fingers and hope for the best! If all else fails, use our contact form and we’ll suggest someone you can talk to.