Exploring Internet Safety with Your Child

There are lots of benefits to the Internet. It provides us with learning opportunities, the ability to shop online, play games and talk to our loved ones, even if they live across the globe. Unfortunately, though, the Internet can be dangerous. Home to predators, hackers, cyberbullies, identity thieves and other bad people who may want to cause harm to you or your loved ones. Many children have access to the Internet,  especially with the huge rise in home learning in recent times. It’s important to talk to them about these dangers so that they know what to avoid and how to stay safe online. Here are some tips from a private prep school in Hertfordshire.

Providing your child with a technological device that has Internet access will instantly put them at risk of the dangers that exist. They may come across pornography or obscene language, or they might be subject to cyber-harassment. While your child may not encounter all of the dangers, you should be aware of them so that you can teach them to make sensible decisions and stay as safe as possible. 

How much you choose to disclose with your child will depend on their age and maturity. For instance, they might not be old enough to learn what a paedophile is, but you can teach them that they should never accept friend requests on social media from people they don’t know in real life, and they should never meet up with someone without your approval. They should also know to never share personal information online, like their phone number, address, passwords, card details etc. What’s more, you should explain to your child that once they have posted something online, it can never be truly deleted, so they should never post something that they wouldn’t want their parents or teachers to see, because that probably means its inappropriate or embarrassing. 

You might also want to establish some rules about screen use, like no phones in the bedroom or no technology after 8pm. Do what’s right for your family, as opposed to what other parents are doing. Of course, you’ll eventually need to give your child more independence when it comes to their phone, but it’s important to keep a close eye on them and ensure they are using their technology responsibly.

Collaborative post. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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