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tips for parents

Welcome to a whole new world!

Children are growing up in a technologically rich world. They are surrounded by ICT and use it extensively in and out of school. ICT opens up a whole new world, a world that we should embrace and encourage. New technologies allow access to some of the most powerful communication, collaboration and research tools. With the new opportunities that ICT brings there undoubtedly comes some risks. It is important that we make children aware of the risks and encourage them to adopt appropriate patterns of behaviour when using ICT.

E-Safety - Top Tips for Parents!

 

  • Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age, it is 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.

  • Encourage your child to go online and explore! There is a wealth of age-appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.

  • Talk to your child about what they're up to online. Engage in their world! Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems.

  • Encourage your child to talk to someone they trust if they feel worried or upset by something that happens online.

  • 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 is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.

  • Agree rules as a family about not disclosing personal information - such as their full name, email address, phone number, home address, photos or school name - time spent online, and contacting people via the internet.

  • Create a family email address for registering only.

  • Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child's online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Find your service provider and learn how to set your controls.

  • Make use of available filtering and monitoring software. These can help block inappropriate material but remember they are not 100% effective and are no substitute for adult involvement and supervision (see www.getnetwise.org)

  • Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you're aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet - is it your connection, or a neighbour's wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.