While at home, children will be exposed to more opportunities for screen time, whether that is completing homework tasks or exploring or playing online.
It is important that we continue with our key message to keep children safe in all areas of their life, including online. We have spoken a lot lately about how much and what kind of information they share in their digital profiles. Families will have time to have discussions about staying safe - the resources on this page will help parents and children alike. Parentinfo is a resource for parents, with guidance to support thier children and build their own knowledge.
Thinkuknow is the national online safety education programme from CEOP, the online child protection command of the National Crime Agency.
Thinkuknow helps parents, carers, teachers and others keep children safe from sexual abuse, offering learning activities, advice and support for children and young people aged 4-18 and their families.
While school is closed, here’s what you can do to keep your child stay safe while they are learning and having fun online.
8 steps to keep your child safe online this month
1. Explore together: Ask your child to show you their favourite websites and apps and what they do on them. Listen, show interest and encourage them to teach you the basics of the site or app.
2. Chat little and often about online safety: If you’re introducing them to new learning websites and apps while school is closed, take the opportunity to talk to them about how to stay safe on these services and in general. Ask if anything ever worries them while they’re online. Make sure they know that if they ever feel worried, they can get help by talking to you or another adult they trust.
3. Help your child identify trusted adults who can help them if they are worried: This includes you and other adults at home, as well as adults from wider family, school or other support services who they are able to contact at this time. Encourage them to draw a picture or write a list of their trusted adults.
4. Be non-judgemental: Explain that you would never blame them for anything that might happen online, and you will always give them calm, loving support.
5. Supervise their online activity: Keep the devices your child uses in communal areas of the house such as in the living room or kitchen where an adult is able to supervise. Children of this age should not access the internet unsupervised in private spaces, such as alone in a bedroom or bathroom.
6. Talk about how their online actions affect others: If your child is engaging with others online, remind them to consider how someone else might feel before they post or share something. If they are considering sharing a photo/video of somebody else, they should always ask permission first.
7. Use ‘SafeSearch’: Most web search engines will have a ‘SafeSearch’ function, which will allow you to limit the content your child can access whilst online. Look out for the ‘Settings’ button on your web browser homepage, which is often shaped like a small cog.
8. Parental controls: Use the parental controls available on your home broadband and all internet enabled devices in your home. You can find out more about how to use parental controls by visiting your broadband provider’s website.