The internet can be an amazing resource that enables children and young people to learn, connect, communicate and express creativity in a number of different ways and on a range of devices.
However, the internet is an ever-changing space and being able to keep up to date with online developments can prove challenging. . .the internet can be beneficial in so many ways, there are numerous dangers that children and young people need to be aware of. The following tips should help children and young people use the internet safely:
- Maintaining an open dialogue – encourage your young person to talk to you about their experiences online i.e. who they follow, what they have seen today, what they have posted. Making them feel comfortable talking to you about their online experience means they are more likely to inform you if they see anything alarming
- Explain all the dangers – by informing your young person of all the dangers on the internet, they have all the information and are aware of what to look out for.
- Monitor usage – apps such as AntiSocial and Freedom are great for setting time restrictions on particular websites to ensure your young person doesn’t spend hours on social media, gaming websites etc.
- Use nicknames – encourage use of nicknames instead of full names where possible (to protect personal information).
- Tackling Cyber bullying – make sure your child knows who to go to for help if they experience bullying online. If they are experiencing bullying, it may be good to get them to take time out from the internet and engage in other activities such as (reading, playing sport, watching a film etc).
- Don’t bury your head – Keep up-to date with the latest apps such Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Periscope, Musical.ly, Twitter and Houseparty