The internet is a wonderful place for children to explore, learn new things and have some fun! The summer holidays are in full swing, and now is a really good time to think about what your child is doing online, the websites they’re visiting, the games they’re playing etc.
Heading into the long summer break is a great moment to learn about how to protect and make sure your child’s online environment is as safe as possible, and ensure your child knows how to use technology safely and responsibly.
We all know that children and young people love technology, whether your child is an avid Club Penguin user or a prolific tweeter and social networker, as parents it’s important that you are aware of their favourite services. Why not start by having a conversation with your child about what websites they like to visit online and who they are interacting with online? It’s a simple and effective way to get involved with your children and their lives online. You could even use our conversation starters to get the ball rolling.
During the long summer days, your children may be spending a bit more time on their portable devices. It’s worth thinking about parental controls if you haven’t before. They’re designed to help protect children from inappropriate content they may come across online, and you can even use them to set usage times and to monitor activity. Since no parental controls or filtering options are 100% foolproof, it’s important to also educate your children about the potential risks online. You could start by watching How to set up parental controls – which will tell you where to find and how to set up the free parental controls offered by your internet service provider. Why not have a read of our Parents Guide to Technology to help you set up parental controls on all your child’s portable devices.
Children love using technology and are learning to navigate websites, online games and consoles, and touch screen technology like iPads and smartphones, from a younger and younger age. If you have younger users of the internet, have a read of our advice in Keeping Young Children Safe Online. This document will provide you with useful tips that you can put in to place at home.
We also have some simple rules, the SMART rules, that children should know, in order to be smart and in control online.
With all this in mind, the internet is a great place for children and they really can gain a lot from their time online. Do remember though, that during the summer holidays, to get the most out of the technology you need to be able to use it safely, being able to look after yourselves and others online. As the summer holidays continue, make this the moment to equip yourselves with the right skills, to help make the internet a great and safe place for your child!