From managing your online reputation to dealing with cyber-bullying, teens can face many different online safety issues. Take some time out with your teen to go through these safety tips.
Be the one who introduce your child to the internet. Together you can find interesting, exciting and fun websites. Doing this as an adventure where you explore together, both the positive and negative sides, makes things easier to share in the future. When your children are old enough and have enough experience, make sure that you’re always available to talk about what they might discover by themselves.
Agree rules for internet use at home
Setting rules for internet use at home is helpful to avoid conflicts and to keep your child safe. This doesn’t mean that you need to supervise them, but together, you can decide which websites are allowed, set times to surf and make sure that you can sign in to every service your child wants to sign up to.
Make sure devices are secured
We recommend creating a separate computer log account for your child which restricts certain functions. You can set up an age ratings, time limits and think about possibly restricting internet usage on portable devices.
Tell your child to be careful when disclosing personal information
Lots of website for children ask for personal information or to make a personalised content. Always question what personal information is really needed. You could have a rule that younger children should never give out name, phone number or photo without your permission.
Some information about setting parental controls on your computer or tablet is available here
Talk about the risks
Talk about the risks associated with meeting online “friends” in person. To avoid unpleasant and possibly dangerous experiences your child should always get your approval first and if they want to meet someone they found online they should always be accompanied by an adult.
Websites with content appropriate for children
A good way for your child to not surf the internet randomly is to set up a few favourites to the front page of your browser. Sit down together and find good websites that your child also likes. Creative, learning and ad-free websites which are supposed to be for children and are recommended.
A list of safe websites for children along with sites with tips and hints on how to stay safe online is available at: http://www.internetsafety.ie/website/ois/oisweb.nsf/page/links-en#child-friendly
Report violation and online material you may consider illegal
Agree with your child that they should tell you about any nasty or illegal content or material they find online. Make sure your child feels supported and that it’s not their fault when coming across it. You also should report it if you find illegal content yourself. Make sure to screenshot it and send it to The ISPAI Hotline.ie Service: email@example.com
To learn how to take a screen shot, watch this video:
Giving and getting respect online
The internet is a place where many people take advantage of others – but respect comes in many forms. Make it clear to your child that the online world follows the same rules as offline. This includes being polite and using correct language. Careful handling of protected information should be also one of your rules. If you or your child notice any kind of cyberbullying, try to resolve it and contact someone who can help.
Set a good example
Children follow their parent’s behaviour – so be a good role model! Responsible handling of data and information online should be key at any given time. If you are unsure or need advice, talk to other parents or teachers.
Don’t be too critical of your child’s internet usage. The big, wide world of the internet often seems to be too big – especially for young children. But don’t be afraid of your child’s exploration of it. See it as a great opportunity for them to learn and broaden their horizons. Whilst there are negative aspects to the internet, if you and your child follow some of these guidelines, you can enjoy its full potential.
Internet Safety Day
Internet Safety Day takes place on February 6th when there is a series of events run by for parents, children and schools around the country. Further information on Internet Safety and the resources provided by the Office of Internet Safety can be found at http://www.saferinternetday.ie/.