Strategies parents can use to keep their children save when using mobile devices or accessing the internet.
- Avoid tablets and smartphones until your child is older, or ensure that they have a programme like K9 Web Protection, Mobileminder or any of the Google Play Parental Control Apps installed on them. Android devices also have built in parental controls. A simple internet search will reveal many helpful and free apps to protect your child, and lots of advice on what works best. Do not supply devices without first downloading protective applications. Avoid buying internet data for your child.
- Keep internet devices in living areas and public spaces. Don’t let kids take them into bedrooms or behind closed doors.
- Block sites like tumblr, certain gaming or file-sharing sites unless you have access, either through passwords or by being added as a friend. Being involved is a good idea, though intrusive as your child grows older, and there’s nothing to stop them making different logins to avoid your prying eyes. Also, you may have better things to do than keep an eye on their online conversations!
- If your child is shown something upsetting by another child on a portable device, let the other parent know. They may not be aware of the kinds of things their child is looking at.
- Talk to your child about healthy relationships. Talk to them about kindness and consent. Provide examples through good literature or good films. Both boys and girls need examples to counter the graphic physical material they will invariably view online one day. Allow them to talk about stuff they see that they find disturbing.