Further information about community and online safety for children.
If you're struggling to keep up with the things your child is doing online or wondering whether what they're doing is safe, we recommend the following advice:
Talk to your child about what they're doing online
Be a part of their online life and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them. If they know you understand they're more likely to come to you if they've any problems.
Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child
Thinkuknow has films, games and advice for children aged 5 to 16.
Encourage your child to go online and explore
There is a wealth of age appropriate sites online for children.
Encourage your child to use sites that're fun, educational and that'll help them to develop online skills.
Keep up-to-date with your child's development online
Children grow up fast and they'll be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It's important that as your child learns more, so do you.
Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world
Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It's important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills your child needs to enjoy their time online.
Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space
It's important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don't want to see.
Know what connects to the internet and how
Nowadays, even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you're aware of what devices your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console.
Find out how they are accessing the internet: is it your connection or a neighbour's WiFi? This will affect whether the safety settings you set are being applied.
Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet
Parental controls aren't just about locking and blocking, they're a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They're not the answer to your child's online safety but they're a good start and they're not difficult to install.