A few years ago we held an information evening for parents about how to keep their children safe online. The evening was well attended by parents of both the junior school and also those at Old Basing Infant school.
Phil Bagge, the lead Computing Inspector/advisor for Hampshire gave a very helpful overview of how parents can keep their children safe online, what cyber bullying is and how to tackle it, webcams in the home and how they can be hacked into as well as numerous other topics to do with social media.
Here are a few simple and practical tips:
- Talk to your child about being safe online (thinkuknow.co.uk is a helpful website). Then when anything untoward does happen online, statistics show that 90+% of children will talk to parents about it. If however you have never spoken with your child about being safe online then if anything untoward does happen online then 90% of children do NOT want to talk to their parents for fear of an overreaction or the parents taking the technology away from them.
- Have some blu-tak or masking tape etc over your webcam (any webcam attached to a PC or built in ones to laptops, tablets etc) to prevent anyone who does manage to break into your home Internet system being able to access your webcam.
- Discuss what a digital footprint is with your child. Explain to them that when you are on the Internet you will leave a trail of where you have been. It is important for them to know that what they do on the Internet will stay there.
- Gaming online is going from strength to strength and it is important to stay safe while playing, especially if there are chat rooms available. Make sure you know what the games entail and play them with your child to see if it is appropriate.
- Devices like phones, tablets and IPad are now used so much it is essential that you know what your child is doing on them. There are loads of new apps being developed all of the time and some are able to hide information from parents looking at the app. Make sure your child knows how to use a phone/tablet and the dangers of giving out personal information.