DISCUSSING INTERNET SAFETY WITH YOUR CHILD

The topic of internet safety is an important discussion to have with your child when they start using digital devices. 

Of course, modern technology is very beneficial in many ways, but it can also be dangerous when used irresponsibly.

What you choose to disclose with your child about the dangers of the internet is entirely age dependent, as you don’t want to terrify them, but it’s crucial that you at least make them aware of how to stay safe online. Here are some tips from an independent school in the Cotswolds.

There are parental controls you can activate across most digital devices, but it’s also important to establish some basic ground rules with your child. For instance, they should never share any personal information online, such as passwords or their home address. 

They should not accept friend requests from strangers on social media and should never meet up with anyone they’ve only spoken to online. These are just a few examples to get you started.

It might be worth chatting to your youngster about the types of websites and apps that they’d like to use, or that their friends are using. Do some research and find out whether or not they are age appropriate. 

If you are not comfortable with any of the websites or apps mentioned for any reason, be prepared to explain to your child why. They will be more accepting of your decision if you can back it up. 

You might also want to establish some rules about when and where the digital devices can be used. For instance, you could say that your child can only access the internet when they are in a communal part of the house rather than in their bedroom with the door closed. This will help you monitor them and keep them safe.

Prepare for there to be a few arguments about your imposed rules; your child may feel like you are being too strict or invading their privacy. However, at the end of the day, as long as you are keeping them safe, it will be worth it.

 As they grow up, you can start to become less strict with your rules, as long as you trust that your child is responsible and mature enough to use their smartphones, tablets and other devices in a sensible manner.

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