Parents

  1. Set boundaries for your child before they get their first ‘connected device’ (mobile, tablet, laptop or games console). Once they have it, it can be more difficult to change the way they use it or the settings.
  2. You may be starting to think your child knows more about using technology than you do, and you may be right. Make it your business to keep up to date and discuss what you know with your child.
  3. Review the settings on parental controls in line with your child’s age and maturity and adjust them if appropriate. They may ask you to trust them sufficiently to turn them off completely, but think carefully before you do and agree in advance what is acceptable online behavior.
  4. Discuss with your child what is safe and appropriate to post and share online. Written comments, photos and videos all form part of their ‘digital footprint’ and could be seen by anyone and available on the internet forever, even if it is subsequently deleted.
  5. Explain to your child that being online doesn’t give them anonymity or protection, and that they shouldn’t do anything online that they wouldn’t do face-to-face

Explain to your child that being online doesn’t give them anonymity or protection, and that they shouldn’t do anything online that they wouldn’t do face-to-face

Here are some questions you could discuss with your children:

  • Do you really know everybody on your ‘friends’ list?
  • Do you know how to use and set privacy and security settings? Can you show me how?
  • Do you ever get messages from strangers? If so, how do you handle them?
  • Do you know anyone who has made plans to meet someone offline that they’ve only ever spoken to online?
  • Has anyone at your school, or anyone else you know, taken naked or sexy photos and sent them to other people, or received photos like that?