Keeping Children and Young People Safe on the Internet
Keeping Children/Young People Safe online over the Summer
With schools closing for the summer holidays and the changes to all our lives due to Coronavirus, children and young people are likely to be spending more time at home and online.
The internet is a fantastic way for children and young people to stay in touch with their friends and keep busy during the school holidays, but there are risks. It’s important that we talk to our children about staying safe online, about social media, apps and other sites they may be using.
It can be difficult to talk to children about online safety but having regular conversations about what they do online just as we would about their day at school will ensure that children will come to us if they have any worries or concerns online.
Here are some of our tips for keeping children safe online over the summer:
- Ask your child to show you what they enjoy doing online or the apps they are using so you can understand them.
- Reassure them that you're interested in their life, offline and online
- Be positive but also be open about anything you're worried about. You could say "I think this site's really good" or "I'm a little worried about things I've seen here"
- Let them know they can come to you if they're worried about anything they see online
- Ask them about their friends online and how they know they are who they say they are
- Set expectations of how they should behave towards others online - Discuss rules about sharing photos and images of themselves and others
- Listen for the reasons why your child wants to use apps or site you don't think are suitable – most games and apps have a recommended minimum age range. Internet Matters has more information
- Don’t be afraid to set boundaries– children who are given rules and limits will grow up feeling far more secure; This applies to rules about internet use too
- Try to ensure a balance between time spent online and keeping active as a family - there are lots of activities and events that can be accessed safely over the summer
- Search the Local Offer for things do to as a family in Tower Hamlets and have fun together!
The NSPCC have lots more advice and information on keeping children and young people safe on the internet.