Many of us use the internet every day. The internet allows us to instantly access information and stay connected with friends and family. However, many parents worry about internet safety for children.

There are risks involved in allowing your child to go online unsupervised, or without the correct parental controls in place; and it is really important to discuss online safety with your child to make them aware of the dangers. Here are some tips from an independent school in Berkhamsted, on exploring internet safety with your child…

Learn about online dangers

Parents should start by learning about internet safety and the dangers your children are susceptible to online. There are lots of helpful websites that cover topics from cyberbullying to privacy settings. If you require further advice on internet safety, your child’s school may also be able to help. Look into how your child is spending their time online and check the websites they are visiting.

Discuss internet safety

How much you disclose to your child about online dangers depends on their age and maturity. Explain that talking to strangers online isn’t safe and sometimes people aren’t who they say they are. Advise your child to never accept friend requests from people they don’t know. It is also crucial to stress to children that they should never meet strangers, even if they have spoken to them online.

Parental controls

It is also really important that you keep an eye on what social networks, chat rooms and games your child is using and ensure that you have the right parental controls in place. Some online games have the option to switch off the ‘chat’ function so that your children can not make contact with others, but still enjoy the game.

Set rules

Establish a set of rules for your child to follow when they are online. For instance, tell your child which websites and apps are off limits and which ones they are allowed to use. It can also be helpful to set a time limit for using phones and tablets, so that it does not take over from physical activity, family time or homework. Other rules should include things like never sharing personal information online.

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