Even if you are at home together, it is not possible to monitor your child’s online activities every second of the day. It is essential to talk with them about online safety issues to help develop their critical thinking and ability to make good choices. The five top tips we found to protect your child online are:
Build an open trusting relationship around technology — keep communication open and supportive so your child knows they can come to you if something goes wrong or does not feel right online.
Co-view and co-play with your child online will help you better understand what they are doing and why they enjoy an app, game or website, as well as providing an excellent opportunity to start conversations about online safety.
Build good habits and help your child to develop digital intelligence and social and emotional skills — such as respect, empathy, critical thinking, responsible behaviour and resilience — and practice being good online citizens. The best thing is that they protect themselves.
Empower your child — wherever possible, help them make wise decisions for themselves, rather than telling them what to do. Try to provide them with strategies for dealing with negative online experiences that will build their confidence and resilience.
Be alert to signs of distress and know where to go for more advice and support. Report harmful online content to Contact a free parent helpline or one of the other many excellent online counselling and support services for help.