Looking after your children online can be quite a daunting task with most teenagers have access to the internet using a smartphone or tablet, and they use a wide range of social networking sites as a vital part of their relationships with other. There are a few tips we can give you to help you effectively keep your children while browsing the internet.
Keep talking and stay interested in what they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to bring up challenging issues like sexting, pornography and cyberbullying. It could be embarrassing, but you’ll both benefit from the subjects being out in the open.
Keep their information private
Your child can set privacy settings on most social networking sites so that only close friends can search for them, tag them in a photograph or share what they’ve posted.
Stay safe on the move
Use safe settings on all mobile devices but be aware that if your child is accessing the internet using public WiFi, filters to block inappropriate content may not be active.
Talk to your child about being responsible when they’re online. Children often feel they can say things online that they wouldn’t say face-to-face. Teach them to always have respect for themselves and others online.
Talk about online reputation
Let them know that anything they upload, email or message could stay around forever online. Remind them they should only do things online that they wouldn’t mind you, their teacher or a future employer seeing.
Discuss with them adjusting your parental controls to match your teenager’s level of maturity. Have a chat about it first – don’t turn them off completely without careful consideration and discussion.
Show you trust them
If you can afford to, give them a small allowance that they can use for spending online so they can download apps, music and films for themselves, from places you agree together.
Don’t give in
Remind them how important it is not to give in to peer pressure to send inappropriate comments or images.
One way to control the material your child may see on the internet is to place controls set by you. There are various ways to prevent them from seeing content you may not want them to view. Over at Internet Matters, they have handy step-by-step guides to help you protect your child by using parental controls. Click here to head over to internet matters.
If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to Dorset Police on 101 or in an emergency 999 and make an immediate report. Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
Local Authority Children’s Social Care: 01305 760139
Each term the Safer Schools and Communities Team release an online newsletter regarding e-safety. This provides up to date information to help you with current online trends. To view the latest one click here.