With the schools now closed to the majority of children, activities online are set to increase, with us becoming more reliant on online resources to access home learning. Internet Safety in the home is now increasingly more important.
Here are our top five easy steps for keeping children safe online:
1. Set Up Parental Controls.
Check up on your Parental Control Settings on all apps and devices in the home. Each app and device often needs the Parental Controls to be applied individually. Whilst not 100% foolproof, Parental Controls do go some way to allow for a greater sense of security in the home.
Check out Internet Matters and download their step by step parental control guides for popular games, apps and even specific devices.
2. Supervise Online Activities.
Try and ensure online activities are supervised and take place in a public space in the house. E.G – Living Room, Kitchen, Dining Room, and not in a private space.
Visit Thinkuknow for more tips on supervising online activities in the home.
3. Set Clear Expectations.
During times like these, technology is considered a friend and screen time limits may be more relaxed and lenient. So set clear expectations on online behaviour and conduct, including how and when devices will be used. A great way of including the whole family in Internet Safety is by creating a family agreement. Get everyone on board with creating rules for using the internet in the best possible way at home.
If you are concerned or looking for advice on screen time limits, make sure you take a look at these key findings on screen time and the impact it has on children and young people.
4. Talk About It.
There is a lot of content online about the Coronavirus, and children may see something they find upsetting or worrying. Let children and young people know that no matter what the worry, concern or issue, you will be there to talk about it. Have this conversation regularly, and if they do come to you, listen in a non-judgemental, supportive way. Encourage them to talk about their online experiences as much as possible.
5. Go Online Together.
Young people may be used to talking with their friends at school about their favourite apps and games. With social distancing becoming more prevalent, see if you can join in with their favourite app and game at home, talk about what they like and enjoy, have a game together and share their experiences. AskAboutGames have extensive guidance on online games, including how to play online games safely and as a family. Check out their guides here and kick start your knowledge.
Have you tried these strategies? Let us know how you are doing in the comments below.
OpenView Education is a training and education company, specialising in Anti-Bullying Workshops, Internet Safety Workshops and Wellbeing Workshops for Schools. If you would like advice on keeping your children or young people safe online during this global crisis, contact us here and we will be happy to help.
Keep well and safe.