Here are some tips and advice to help parents keep their children safe online.
1 Show a real interest in what your child is doing online. Sit down with your child and ask them to show you what they’re doing, what sites they are visiting and which programmes or applications they use. Get them to teach you. You need to know this stuff!
2 Insist on having all their passwords. Explain that this is not to snoop on them or to invade their privacy. Rather it is part of your duty as parents to keep them safe.
3 Make sure that their profiles are set to PRIVATE/FRIENDS ONLY.
4 Ensure that your children do not allow personal information to become public. Date of birth, address, mobile numbers and other private information should not be shared online.
5 If you find something unsuitable or inappropriate, don’t over-react. It may be accidental and they may be innocent victims of someone else’s mistakes. It is always better to remain calm, to keep lines of communication open, and to let them know that they can come to you when something unsuitable or frightening happens.
6 Block and report and hurtful, hateful or bullying content. Keep the evidence if it’s happening repeatedly.
7 Blockit and Bully Stop are examples of software which can be used to block mobile phones.
8 Encourage your children to develop their own judgement to evaluate what they see and hear online.
9 Set limits for the amount of time that your child can spend online. Try to enforce this limit.
10 Ensure that your child has a balanced lifestyle with enough physical activity, play and rest.
11 Allow webcams only in public areas of your house.
12 Keep TV and internet devices in shared areas in your house. Let them know that you will glance over their shoulder occasionally. Remember, it’s your house, so you can make the rules!
13 Make sure that you have firewalls, parental controls and anti-virus software on your internet devices.
14 Free software to download onto your computers:
Firewall: Windows Firewall or Online Armor
Antivirus: Microsoft Security Essentials or Avira Free
15 Keep SafeSearch switched on when using a search engine.
16 Use a kids’ search engine such as Yahoo Kids
17 Check the History File of sites visited on computers once every week and then delete it. Tell your child it must always be available and that they are not allowed to delete their history.
18 Join the same Social Network as your child and become friends with them. Visit once a week to see what’s going on.
19 Borrow your child’s phone for a day every so often. You will get an idea of what kinds of messages they receive and from whom.
20 If you don’t know something about the online world, look it up on google. For example, What is Snapchat?
21 Visit http://www.webwise.ie to get lots more information about heeping your child safe online.
SOME USEFUL WEBSITES
http://www.webwise.ie/explainer whatis snapchat.shtm