Keeping Your Child Safe Online

I was asked at a recent parents evening, “How can I keep my son safe online”. This is an ever increasing concern because from smartphones to tablets, games consoles to computers, getting online has never been easier, so it is becoming increasingly important to protect your child’s safety on the net.

Here are my top tips to keep your child safe online:

Parental controls

Parental controls are a great way of controlling the content your kids can access. They allow you to block selected websites and email addresses by adding them to a filter list. They also prevent your kids from searching certain words. Child-friendly search engines such as Yahoo Kids or Ask Jeeves for Kids, lets your children search the internet safely as they filter out inappropriate sites and content. Contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to find out any child safety measures they offer if you are not sure.

Setting ground rules with your child

It’s a good idea to set some ground rules with your child when thinking about their safety online and include their input when doing so. Here at Jack Hunt we teach our pupils to be digital citizens and speak to them about the potential risks online to help them understand the dangers. It would help us if you could tell your child:

  • Not to give out any personal information to people online such as names, addresses, phone numbers, bank details, passwords
  • To only visit chat rooms that are fully moderated / supervised
  • Not to meet an online friend in person without you knowing/allowing them to do so
  • Not to have an email/screen-name address that references their age or gender
  • Be mindful when posting status updates, photos or video on social networking sites
  • To tell you if they experience anything inappropriate that worries them
  • Take regular breaks from the computer

Tips for family Internet usage

An easy way to make sure your child is safe online is to have the computer in a family room with the screen in view. Draw up house rules such as Internet usage hours and sites that are off limits. It’s also never best to download unknown files from the Internet unless you know it is from a reliable source. The majority of computers and other digital technologies all now have measures in place to protect your child’s safety online and these, coupled with your input, should mean our young people are better equipped when surfing the net.

Mr Kent
Curriculum Area Leader for ICT