These days kids seem to have an understanding of the internet that surpasses most adults. A life without the internet seems alien to them - try explaining to a child what a typewriter was and they will look at you as if you have gone mad! Even children too young to speak are fascinated with technology (the toy kind just donât cut it) and expect everything to work like a smartphone or tablet.
Although it can all be great for them learning motor-skills and even learning to read, it is still important to keep them safe from stumbling across undesirable websites. As much as you try, you can't keep an eye on every site they visit, especially as they get older so what can you do?
Communicate - have a conversation about what is and what isn't acceptable online, for instance, do they need to ask you permission before they download a file? Tell them they should always tell you if they come across a website that makes them feel uncomfortable and they should NEVER 'chat' with strangers online. Parents should warn of the dangers, just the same as you would do about road safety and not talking to strangers - online is no different.
Maybe limit computer/screen time and don't let them have them in their rooms, at least at bedtime. On a PC you can install Parental Control Software and some browsers have built in parental controls. You then have various controls and limitations that you can set, and can even have regular emails sent to you reporting websites visited etc.
If you are allowing a very young child to 'play' with your phone or tablet, it's a great idea to switch it to Airplane mode before handing it over to avoid random Facebook posts or texts sent to your friends. You'll be sure that they won't be able to access the internet either.
We hope this gives you some practical ideas on how to keep your child safe online.
Member since: 10th July 2012
Lived in St Neots since 1975 and boy how its changed, always looking to promote everything great in and around our town.