Discussing Internet Safety with Your Child

The internet is an amazing tool. It allows us to access information on absolutely anything, we can use it to shop online and it keeps us connected with friends and family all over the world. Although the internet does offer many advantages, many parents worry about letting their children use it.

Before your child begins using the internet it is important to discuss internet safety and make them aware of some of the dangers that can be found online. It is always advised to supervise your child when they are using the internet, however if this isn’t always possible, be sure to have the correct parental controls in place to protect them. To help you explore internet safety with your child, here are some tips from an independent school in London

child computer

Start by learning about the dangers
Before talking to your child about how to use the internet safely it is important to do your research into the kind of websites or games they will be using and the dangers they pose. There are many helpful online resources that cover topics from cyberbullying to privacy settings. If your child will have access to the internet on their own smart phone or tablet, you should regularly check that the content they are viewing is suitable.

Talk about ‘stranger danger’
How much you decide to share with your child about the dangers of the internet will depend on their age and maturity. However it is vital to explain to children of all ages that talking to strangers online isn't safe. Advise your child that sometimes people aren't who they say they are, so they must never give out any personally information or arrange to meet any online ‘friends’.

Set parental controls
You must ensure that you have the right parental controls in place before allowing your child to search the internet. You can restrict certain websites so that they cannot view inappropriate content and you can add a permission setting so that they are unable to download apps without your knowledge. Don’t forget to check the settings on your child’s favourite computer games. Some will give you the option to switch off the ‘chat’ function so that your child can still enjoy the game without talking to others.

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