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To talk to your child about being safe on the internet, visit CEOP's Thinkuknow for guidance.
Parents and carers (and the wider community) have a key role to play in helping children and young people use technology safely and responsibly outside of school. By promoting e-safety at home, parents and carers can help to reinforce the messages taught in school and help to equip their children with the skills needed to use any technology they encounter safely.
You can make sure your child is safe online by using technical parental controls and creating your own rules. Rules should cover issues like which websites they can visit and how long they can spend online. You should also stress the importance of keeping personal information safe.
Computers and other digital technologies like games consoles and mobile phones have parental controls. These let you do things like:
Before you set rules you can check the equipment’s user manual or the manufacturers’ websites to see what controls you have access to. You can also contact your internet service provider (ISP) or mobile phone operator to find out about any child safety measures they offer.
Setting rules with your child
When making a set of rules for using the internet, it’s a good idea to include your child. Being involved will help them understand the dangers and give them a sense of responsibility. It will also let them know what kind of websites you think are suitable.
The best way to keep your child safe online is to get on the internet yourself to learn how they use it. This will help you to set reasonable rules.
Acceptable internet use
Some examples of acceptable use might include:
Child-friendly search engines
You should make sure your child is aware of child-friendly search engines. These filter out inappropriate internet sites so that they are able to search the internet safely. You can visit http://www.wisekids.org.uk/Kids_safe_search_engines.htm to find a list of safe search engines that your child can use. Your child can also use traditional search engines with safe search settings turned on.
Stopping cyberbullying (online bullying)
Your child should understand that they should never be afraid to tell you about frightening or bullying emails or messages they get with unacceptable content. It’s not their fault that they have received them and the addresses can be added to the parental control filter list. You can visit http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Yourchildshealthandsafety/Internetsafety/DG_071156 to find out more about how you can help to keep your child safe.
Your child’s personal safety online
It’s important your child realises that people online might not be who they say they are and could be dangerous. They should also be aware that any personal information they give out can be used in financial scams or for bullying. To keep your child safe, remind them not to:
You can monitor your child’s internet use by checking the history folder on your browser as it contains a list of previously visited sites.
If there’s a problem?
Hopefully the rules you put in place will mean your child is always able to use the internet safely. However, you should also:
If you are worried about illegal materials or suspicious online behaviour, contact the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) http://www.ceop.gov.uk/