Children and young people spend lots of time on the internet. They may go online to research information for homework or to play games, chat with friends and make new ones.
The internet holds a massive amount of useful information and can also be a really good way of learning about new things and keeping in contact with friends and family. It can also be a very dangerous place so it is important that children are protected and monitored when they are online.
CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) has lots of information about how to keep your children safe online and parental controls. The link to the website is below:
The NSPCC also offers lots of helpful tips and advice parents can use to keep their children safe on the internet and social networks.
The link below outlines the risks and dangers children face when using the internet and provides advice on how to set parenting controls on computers, tablets and mobile phones:
How to Set Up Parental Controls
Parental controls can help keep your child safe. Even the most Innocent searches online can bring up not so innocent results. Parental controls can be used to block upsetting or harmful content. They can also help to control in-app purchases or manage how long your child spends online. The NSPCC have made setting up parental control are really easy:
Be Share Aware
It can be hard to keep track of what your child is doing online. Or know how to keep them safe. There are so many different social networks, apps and games. Children and young people use social networks to:
- Send and share photos or videos
- Chat online with people via messages, voice calls or video
- Film themselves and broadcast videos via live-streaming
- Access and play games
The NSPCC has great tools to help you support your children to be Share Aware, including several videos that you can watch with your children.
Net Aware - Your guide to the social networks your kids use
You've probably heard of Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat - the most popular networks used by 11-16 year olds. But what about Omegle, Musical.ly and Periscope
To learn more about your children's favourite social networks, their suggested ages and how to use privacy settings, visit Net Aware.
WhatsApp is the largest global social messaging platform, with over 1.5 billion users per month, and Net Aware have created a free guide for parents & carers which covers what parents & carers need to know about the platform to help safeguard children from potential online risks including; the new age limit (16+), scam messages, connecting with strangers, location sharing and more.
Please click on the link for free WhatsApp guide for parents & carers: https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/whatsapp/
Snapchat is an app that lets you send a photo, short video or message to your contacts. The ‘snap’ appears on screen for up to 10 seconds before disappearing, or there is an option to have no time limit. There’s also a feature called Snapchat Story that lets you share snaps in a sequence for up to 24 hours.
Minimum age according to Snapchat: 13+
NetAware have created a free guide for parents & carers whicvh covers what parents & carers need to know about the platform to help safeguard children from potential online risks.
Please click on the link for free Snapchat guide for parents & carer: https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/snapchat/
Gaming is extremely popular with children. When playing online children have the opportunity to relax, socialise with their friends and have fun. Children can play on games consoles, apps or websites, and chat to other players or watch them play through live-streaming. However there are some dangers to online gaming. And with so many games and apps available online, it can be hard for parents/carers to know how to keep their child safe.
What are the risks of online games?
- Children may view inappropriate or upsetting content if they play games that aren't suitable for their age. This could include sexual or violent material. It might be in-game content or produced by other players.
- Some players can be abusive towards others or try to exlude them from the game. Some players may also hack another user's account or try to steal and destroy their virtual possessions. This can be as upsetting for a young person as if it happened in real life.
- Children may play with adults they don't know. People of all ages play games. Some adults may exploit this and try to build an emotional connection with a child for the purpose of grooming.
- Some children may find it hard to stop playing games or find that gaming is getting the way of them doing other activities.
The NSPCC has some useful information on helping children to stay safe online:
Pokemon Go is a popular online game where you collect and trade cute creatures called Pokémon (Pocket Monsters). There have been concerns raised by the NSPCC regarding the safety of children playing this game. Pokemon Go merges the real world and the virtual world. The game requires the player to travel to find the Pokemon and then swap characters with other players to create the best team.
The NSPCC have created a useful guide for parents/carers of children who are actively playing Pokemon Go on phones or other devices.
Pokémon Go: A Parent's Guide: Tips and advice for keeping children safe on Pokémon Go
Netflix is arguably the most widely used and best known video-on-demand (VoD) streaming service in the world. It’s extensive library of films and TV shows can offer endless hours of entertainment and, in the current climate, it’s a great way to kill some time whilst keeping safe at home, providing both child friendly and more adult-themed programming.