This blog talks about internet safety as a major issue, which we’ve been finding a lot of parents dealing with due to COVID-19, and the lock-down. We know parents are experiencing high levels of stress because they are unaware of internet safety, and this is particularly prevalent within BAME households.
Young people are spending more time online than ever.
We want to protect the mental health of young people, and support the communities we work with to protect people online.
Read on for these top tips for parents to ensure internet safety, taken from this great blog.
1. Take an interest in your child’s online world
Talk to your child about what they’re doing online. Take an interest in their interests and consider co-viewing or co-creating with them from time to time.
This website has an easy-to-read summaries of popular sites, apps, and social media:
2. Remember, you’re in charge
At the end of the day, remember you’re the parent. Set the boundaries.
3. Use filtering software and parent controls on devices (but be aware that this is only part of the solution).
There’s lots of available solutions, I-Player allows a parent lock, as one example.
4. Create a family media agreement
Create your own internet/device rules for your household and have your child agree to stick to them.
5. Make sure you check your child’s device.
Encourage them to talk to you if they feel uncomfortable with a friend request or message of a stranger. Support them – you don’t want your child to be discouraged from talking to you if they’re worried you might take their device away.
6. Help your child learn about privacy.
Teach your child to keep personal information private online, things like: their full name, Address, Phone number, Passwords, any plans and their birth date. Also make sure they know they don’t have to share any other social media accounts with other people. Someone talking to your child on an online game might not need to know your child is on other social media.
7. Help your child to think critically when they’re online.
Remind your child that not everything you read or see on the web is true, and not everyone online tells the truth. It’s very easy to fake authority.
8. Keep the lines of communication open
It’s crucial to talk to your child regularly and openly about what they’re doing online.
9. Make a plan with your child
Make sure they know what to do if someone who is contacting them asking to do something that is illegal, or sends them inappropriate content.
10. Strive for balance in your household
Encourage your child to balance their screen time and green time, and encourage offline interests.
11. Be aware of age restrictions
Many popular sites (YouTube, Instagram, Tiktok etc.) have age restrictions to their accounts, and these are in place for a reason: to keep young people safe.
12. Educate yourself
Explore reliable resources for parents so you can educate yourself and protect your children.
Be a role-model
A key message that underpins all of the above is: be a role model. Our own digital habits, like being constantly distracted by our own devices, are noticed by children. It can be easier said than done, but being more mindful of having a balanced approach to using technology ourselves is crucial.
Get in touch with our young person’s worker Zahrah if you have any questions, need help with an issue, or any more support on how to deal with internet safety through a holistic approach.