The Easter holiday is the perfect time to help your children get creative online.
With a whole host of new things for children to explore and discover we have some useful tips and guidance that will ensure your child can stay safe online whilst still having fun.
Set up parental controls
The internet is a wonderful place, filled with real opportunities for young people to learn, play and talk to their friends. We all know however that there is a lot of content online, and not all of it is appropriate for children and young people. To protect your child from seeing anything inappropriate or upsetting online, why not consider setting up parental controls in your house…
Parental controls are designed to help protect children from inappropriate content they may come across online. These controls can be used to limit access to only age appropriate content, to set usage times and to monitor activity.
The 4 big internet providers in the UK – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time. These providers have come together to produce a series of helpful video guides to help parents download and set up the controls offered by these providers. To watch these videos visit the UK Safer Internet Centre.
Filters and parental controls are great, unfortunately they aren’t full proof, and sometimes even when you have enabled filters and parental controls, inappropriate content could slip through and young people still could be exposed to inappropriate and upsetting content. Therefore, it’s important that you talk to your child about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate to access online. Make sure you reassure them that they can always come to you if they ever come across anything that upsets or worries them online.
For more information about parental controls view our Parental Controls Hot Topic.
Teach the 5 e-safety SMART rules
Follow our SMART rules to stay safe online
- Safe: Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information when you’re chatting or posting online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and password.
- Meet: Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ or carers’ permission and even then only when they can be present. Remember online friends are still strangers even if you have been talking to them for a long time.
- Accepting: Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, images or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or nasty messages!
- Reliable: Someone online might lie about who they are and information on the internet may not be true. Always check information by looking at other websites, in books, or with someone who knows. If you like chatting online it’s best to only chat to your real world friends and family.
- Tell: Tell a parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone, or something, makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.
Do an e-safety activity
Learn about e-safety together with these fun activities:
- Watch The Adventures of Kara, Winston and the SMART Crew and learn the 5 e-safety SMART rules.
- Read the brilliant e-safety resource, Digiduck’s Big Decision, and follow Digiduck and his pals in this story of friendship and responsibility online.
- Follow the adventures of Smartie and Daddy Penguin as Smartie learns how to be safe on the internet. Once you read the e-book why not draw a poster, write a song or make a Smartie the Penguin sock puppet.