Parents of young children and pre-schoolers
You don’t need to talk to your pre-schooler about online safety yet, right? Wrong. If you treat online safety just as you would treat road safety, then talking about safe internet use becomes the norm and not something that they feel needs to be hidden as they get older. This podcast from the The 2 Johns talk about how pre-schoolers and young children view the world through the lens of the internet. There are useful tips about how to develop a healthy curiosity in children about what they see and do on the internet.
Parental controls and security settings
Parents and carers should be ensuring the settings of the apps and online games that their children use are set to private, with location settings turned off, to restrict the ways in which they could potentially be targeted by perpetrators. Many apps are public facing automatically, and have to be manually set to 'private'. You can use parental controls to help you block or filter the content your child sees when searching online. Parental controls are also available to help you to:
- plan what time of day your child can go online and how long for
- stop them from downloading apps they're too young for
- manage the content different members of the family can see
It's important to bear in mind that children and young people can potentially have access to the internet anywhere, not just at home. There are wifi hotspots, internet cafes, friends house and of course mobile data is available 24/7. So, whilst parental controls are useful, the most important thing you can do is have an open and inquisitive relationships with your child about their online interests.