It’s very well to tell you that you need to help your children stay safe online and teach them to be savvy surfers, but how do you go about that practically without alienating them? Here are a few tips to help you keep your child safe online and still be able to have fun:
1. Establish rules for your children about the use of Internet, both at home and outside. Rules could include establishing guidelines for how long your children spend online and when.
2. Build trust through open communication with your family- discuss the latest trends and spend time online with your children. Get a sense of what they are doing online and understand the sites they are using.
3. Be honest with your children. Let them know that as a responsible parent, you may review their online activities if you have concerns. This means having access to their passwords and accounts but having an agreement for when you will use them.
4. Have the computer in an area of the house where you can monitor and supervise your children’s internet activity respectfully. Monitoring through the use of online parental controls is one way of checking in on them, but this is no replacement for responsible parenting and open discussion. At the same time, recognise that, as a parent, you can’t be everywhere at once, so the use of parental control software is a step to consider.
5. Help your child to be savvy about what they post and who they allow to view their posts. Encourage them to speak to you about any problems they may be having and let them know that talking to you will not result in you removing their phones or computers.