Mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones have changed family life dramatically. Parents have been asking for for a SIMPLE guide to keep their child safe online. Here is as simple a guide as I can manage, please e-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org ...
Moderate the usage of electronics ....
1) Always encourage Sports, Imaginative Play, Socialising***, Board Games and Reading activities over electronics. They will learn computing at school, and physical, social and emotional exercise are most effective for developing your child's brain.***Play dates will keep your child occupied, while also providing another adult for you to talk to. Talk to your children and other parents and work together to spot potential problems. Building friendships and community ties will help children show respect to others.2) Collect mobile devices when the child comes home, restrict their use to the family room if needed. Decide as a family when electronics should or should not be used, but remember your are the adult.
Reduce feelings of isolation ...
3) No child should be alone when using the internet. Provide an internet free computer somewhere quiet, and a research computer in the family room. Alternatively have a set 'quiet time' in the family room for working, reading, and quiet play.You can whitelist websites (whitelisting is blocking ALL sites on the internet, then allowing access to only those the child REALLY needs for work). (External resource for whitelisting :http://www.howtogeek.com/177469/what-parents-need-to-know-about-web-filtering-and-parental-controls/)
Reduce socialising when tired or angry ...
4) Children get tired and irritable at the end of the day, restrict the use of internet connected devices and computers to a family room. Enforce strict "No Screen / Internet" rules after a set time in the evening (if possible use a natural break such as after dinner). Remember, children can both be bullied, and BE bullies themselves. Monitor your child's activities, it is not invasive, they are children and your are the responsible adult.
Here are some other sites with information on keeping your child safe online :
- "A guide to help parents, carers and educators protect children’s privacy online" -
- "A guide to the signs That a child may be targeted by a predator and ways to prevent and deal with it."
- "Suggestions of for tweens and teens on how they can keep themselves safe"
- "A resource for parents to help talk to thier kids and set rules regarding Internet safety"
- "This is a comprehensive collection of articles and pamphlets to help inform and advise parents on issues of Internet safety."
- "This is a large collection of online lessons on many facets of online safety."
- "A Collection of Computer Security and Safety Tips"