The expanse of the world wide web and your child colliding is inevitable, so it is integral you have an open discussion with your child about using different websites and apps before you set them loose to scroll.
The essential three things your child should know while sharing information online are knowing how to block someone from accessing personal information, where reporting functions are located on a webpage and finally, how to access privacy settings.
The Online World
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) identify a number of common reasons why young adults and children may choose to go online, which include:
- Browsing search engines for content to watch.
- Liking, commenting or sharing posts featured on social networking platforms, for example Twitter and Instagram.
- Keeping friends posted on their life with stories or posts on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram.
- Broadcasting live videos via Facebook Live and Instagram Live.
- Talking to people through chat services on games or via voice notes, video chats and texts on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.
- Playing games using websites, mobile apps and game consoles or streaming their own game on YouTube and Twitch, one of the world’s largest live streaming platforms for gamers.
As parents you can take control of the type of content your child is allowed to view, manage the amount of time they spend online and disable access to downloading age inappropriate apps. The best part is that these can all be performed through a simple and easy to set up parental control. Applying parental controls, in conjunction to enabling specific privacy settings on your online broadband account establishes a safe space for your child, whilst they are browsing different websites and apps.
It’s all too easy for children to gain access to phone passwords and if you’re concerned about your child using your phone to make purchases online or simply, tired of changing your phone password every other day, then consider switching your phone to airplane mode. Changing your phone to airplane mode means your child will not be able to contact strangers or heckle every saved person on your contact list.
Maintaining an open conversation with your child, where you discuss online safety and explore both apps and websites together, is the fundamental route to keeping your child safe online. If you require further guidance on parental controls, privacy settings or social networking websites contact the experts at the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5002.