Internet safety for kids is a very important topic. Whilst the internet is wonderful for many reasons; it can help us stay connected to friends and family all around the word, and even our colleagues for those who work remotely. It can help us with our learning, allow us to find new career opportunities and book holidays. The list is endless! However, the internet also has a scary side. So those who use it have to be well-educated about the dangers that might be lurking in order to avoid them.
This is especially true for our children, who are very naïve when it comes to things like scamming and cat fishing. With that said, it is absolutely crucial that you speak to your child regularly about how they are using the internet, to ensure they are staying safe online. Here are some tips from a junior school in Kent to help get you started.
Disclosure: This is a partnered post
#1: Talk To Your Kids About The Dangers
Of course, there are lots of parental controls that you can put in place to limit your child’s access to certain websites and other content. And these are something we highly recommend putting in place from both a safety perspective but also to ensure they are not purchasing game, apps etc. without your knowledge.
But you also need to talk to your kids on a frequent basis until the message sinks in and they understand that there are some dangers on the internet. How much you choose to share on the matter really depends on their age and maturity, as you don’t want to frighten them. However, there does need to be some strict rules in place about what they are doing online to ensure internet safety for kids.
- they should never accept friend requests on social media from people they have not met in real life,
- they should not meet up with people they’re talking to online unless the arrangement has been approved by a parent or guardian, and
- they should only use age appropriate websites.
#2: Do Your Own Research
In fact, it might be worth checking in with your child once in a while to find out what apps and websites they are most interested in at the time. Follow up by doing some research of your own with regards to how safe these apps/websites are and what the minimum recommended age requirement is. Make sure your child knows if you are not comfortable with them using a particular site or app and explain to them the reason why.
#3: Set Some Rules
As a parent, it’s up to you to determine what rules are suitable for your child. Be sure to do what feels right for your family and not what other families are doing. For instance, if you are not comfortable with your child using the internet alone, set a rule that they can only use technological devices if they are in a public part of the house/have supervision.
You might also think it appropriate to limit screen time for a set number of hours or declare that no phones can be used after 8pm, for example. Eventually you will need to give your child more independence when it comes to their phone and other devices, but until then, try your best to guide them in the right direction.
We hope these simple tips help you to better understand the importance of internet safety for kids. With a little bit of research to understand what your child is interested in online and setting out some ground rules from an early stage, you will be safe in knowing that your kids are using the internet appropriately.