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NOW CLOSED Share your top internet safety tips with TalkTalk and win a £250 Love2Shop voucher

(99 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Feb-13 10:37:29

To mark the 10th Safer Internet Day, which happened on Tues this week, TalkTalk want to hear your top tips for making sure you and your family use the internet safely.

Here is what TalkTalk say: "The internet is at the heart of our homes and is ultimately a great thing, but it does throw up a whole range of different challenges for parents. We want to help our customers keep their families safer online so we developed HomeSafe, the UK's only parental control service that's built into the broadband network itself and protects every device using the home internet. We want to encourage families to make every day a Safer Internet Day, by sharing their top internet safety advice with each other. If you're stuck for ideas then why not check out the recent internet safety expert Q&A we ran for Mumsnetters on the TalkTalk Better Off Hub."

What TalkTalk would love to know is:

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Everyone who posts their comments here will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw
MNHQ

CMOTDibbler Tue 05-Feb-13 11:10:17

ATM, ds is 6, so his only internet access is on the family PC, to defined websites, and only under adult supervision. He knows he isn't allowed to chat to anyone in the games, and we talk about how people might pretend to be other people, or say nasty things and he needs to tell an adult straightaway if they do.

When the time comes that he has less supervised access, he will have very tightly set parental controls on his device. The hardest thing to manage seems to be YouTube as its very easy to get to yucky things without searching

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 11:21:00

My tip for everyone (grownup included) is "don't be afraid to back out of a conversation if you feel uncomfortable".

If you don't feel quite right, you can just stop talking to someone then and there.

It's not your responsibility to entertain them or to listen to their problems or to act as their counsellor.

telsa Tue 05-Feb-13 11:51:40

It is impossible to really control what crops up on the internet - even an innocent search can lead to dodgy stuff. So, I talk about all that is out there with my children, so that it does not seem more glamorous or like a forbidden fruit. I also stress that the key thing is to never, ever, give out any identifying or personal details in any interaction online when in one of those chat-rooms such as BinWeevils.

borninastorm Tue 05-Feb-13 11:52:21

My best advice to other parents on Internet safety is - make sure you know, understand and can use all the many various sites your teenager uses.

We all know how to use Mumsnet, Facebook and Twitter. But what about Tumblr (cos that's the only one I can think of right now but there's plenty more my teen dd uses that I'd never heard of)? And did you know that apparently Tuesday is topless tumblr day where females post pics of themselves topless?

Or all the instant messaging services they use online?

If we can't use these sites then how can validly advise our children and teenagers on how to be safe on them? And how can we check up on them if we need to?

borninastorm Tue 05-Feb-13 11:53:38

I like your tip for grown ups trills.

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 11:55:08

Thanks smile

MissRee Tue 05-Feb-13 12:01:50

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

DS (7) is not allowed to use my laptop on his own and he knows that he mustn't use Safari on the iPad. The rules are that he is only allowed on the internet if he is accompanied by someone.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

DS doesn't really use the laptop for email/social networking so no, we haven't had this conversation yet.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

I would warn you off letting your children use chat rooms or forums where people could be someone other than who they claim to be. Keep your children off social networking like Facebook or Twitter for as long as possible! Although eventually, you will probably have to cave as peer pressure will get too much - then have the chat with them about not adding strangers and probably even get their password so you can keep an eye on their usage and communication. There is an awful lot of inappropriate content on FB now which you won't be able to shelter them from entirely.

prettybird Tue 05-Feb-13 12:08:55

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Ds pretty much has carte blanche - but has to use the iPad in the same room as us. As he is still 12, he does not yet have a Facebook account, but he does have a twitter account. We monitor it closely - and he knows we do.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

He is aware of the potential dangers - a combination of school talks and us just talking about it generally. The conversations ahve never become "heavy". Talk about potential problems openly and matter of factly.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

If you're not sure about a link, don't click on it. On Facebook, if someone has posted what looks like a strange link with no comment on it, don't click on it, or you could find yourself "click-jacked" and unwittingly pass on the same dubious link. Twitter likewise - if a friend DMs you with a strange message or link, don't click on it as they have probably been hacked.

ouryve Tue 05-Feb-13 12:09:31

Monitor your child's computer and Internet usage.

DS1 is 9 and has used a computer since he was 4. He uses it where we can see him. He likes to google for anything to do with lego. For something so innocuous sounding, you'd be surprised what can come up. By watching him there, we are able to say "sorry, that's too violent, let's find something more appropriate and enjoyable"

We are not about to let him skulk off into his room with a laptop anytime, soon.

Don't assume that a children's website is automatically safe

My 11yo niece has been allowed to do that for a few years. DH registered and set up her old computer for her and there's been a few times that he's had to contact SIL because DN has been wanting access to places like habbo hotel where there have been incidents of adults posing as young children and inviting them into private chats. Had he not been receiving notifications, SIL would probably have been completely unaware.

MmeLindor Tue 05-Feb-13 12:15:37

My top tip is not to rely on software alone to protect your children.

Children are often more tech savvy than their parents. As Borninastorm mentioned, make sure that you truly understand the websites and messaging services they use, and stay up to date.

Did you know for instance that KIK messaging now link to Reddit? I have removed KIK from our DC's iPods for this reason.

Be aware that you can have the best internet safety software, and have everything locked down, but when your child is at his friend's house, you have no idea what his parents have done.

Kids are going to see unsavoury stuff online, it is a fact of life. Talk to your kids in an age appropriate manner about this.

Also talk to them about what they post online, that everything they post online stays online - forever.

If they wouldn't be happy showing that picture to Granny, then they shouldn't put it online.

Doogle2 Tue 05-Feb-13 12:17:55

I have discussed internet safety with my son 9. He knows never to give out personal information and to tell us ASAP if someone asks a question re this.
He is not allowed on the Internet unless we are in the room and we supervise anything he googles or looks up on u-tube.

chrisrobin Tue 05-Feb-13 12:30:01

How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile. My DC are 4 and 7 but have to use the internet to do their homework. Either DH or I watch them while they are using it and DS2 is only allowed on the homework sites. DS1 has to use search engines for some of his homework so we help him to choose the most appropriate sites by using specific terms to search and going on sites he already knows like BBC. We also have a content filter on the broadband connection.

Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? Not yet as they are constantly supervised.

What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters? Don't just follow links, check them out first and always check suspicious emails too.

PhilMcAverty Tue 05-Feb-13 12:53:16

All web access is password protected so the can't get on line without me being there. On the kindle fire I've turned off one click purchase. V wise.

When they get older I'll create their own accounts with as much protection as I can on. They won't be allowed unrestricted access in their rooms.

Advice to other MNers.
1. Don't use the same password for every site.
2. Make all passwords over 8 characters and include capitals and numbers.
3. Never have a site remember your log in details as if you get hacked they'll be there for the hacker.
4. If you've ever done "what's your porn name? First pet & mothers maiden name" then you've given away the answers to the two most used safety questions to access accounts. Use different safety questions and don't give them away no matter how much you want to tell every one your porn / star wars / hobbit name.
5. There's some seriously dodgy fuckers on the internet so be careful what details you give away about yourself. Even with a pseudonym or nickname, you are still searchable.
6. If you're going to meet someone of the internet for the first time, choose a safe environment. I've met loads of lovely MNers and I've even met someone who is now one of my closest friends, but we first met in a public place in a group. Don't go alone to someone house until you know them a bit better.

IceNoSlice Tue 05-Feb-13 12:53:28

Probably one for grown ups buying stuff rather than a tip for kiddies, but when a website requires personal details, eg registration or buying stuff:

- give absolute minimum details
- consider a separate email address for Internet buying so you can keep personal email separate, you don't want a hacker emailing your mum and scaring her. I think email addresses you enter into websites are more likely to be hacked.
- think about the provenance on the website and check it is 'official', eg be careful of clicking through email links

Probably obvious to most of us, but not obvious to all of the older 'silver surfer' generation.

DifferentNow Tue 05-Feb-13 13:08:45

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Initially, the only access to the internet the children had at home was on our family laptop which is only ever used in the lounge. We set up individual user accounts for each member of the family which were password protected. We also made use of the free parental controls available with our broadband package. I was able to monitor sites they'd visited this way. Now it is trickier as the 2 oldest DC have tablets and smartphones which they use in their bedroom, outside etc. School recently had someone in to talk to the older kids about internet safety and DD1 seemed to take a lot from it. DH and I don't use Facebook etc and some of my friends have expressed concern that we will soon have a teen DD who we will be poorly equipped to protect/relate to. We have encouraged the DC's school to run a similar internet safety event for parents.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

We recently discovered accidentally that DD (age 11) had downloaded 2 'sex position' type apps. I was horrified and couldn't believe it even though the evidence was there. She was mortified when we confronted her about it. We didn't make a huge deal about it but it was a perfect opportunity to talk about what is and is not appropriate. I wasn't checking up on her when I came across it and haven't looked again since but I like the fact that she thinks I can! The experience has made me realise that there's a lot more going on in her head than I'd thought at this stage and that we need to try and encourage a more open forum at home where the DC can ask questions.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Don't be naive in relation to your children - kids are inquisitive. Trust your instincts.

missorinoco Tue 05-Feb-13 13:27:08

Aged five and under all my children's intrenet use is supervised. What will I do later - get as much parental protection as I can, and remove all automatic logins.

Indith Tue 05-Feb-13 13:38:56

What TalkTalk would love to know is:

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Mine are all 6 and under and we are not a very techy enabled household so they don't really use the computer at all, they've done the odd game on the cbeebies website but other than that their computer/internet use is limited to sending an e-mail form my account to grandpa, Skype with friends abroad and asking me to find muppet songs on youtube. They never use a computer unsupervised and it wouldn't occur to them to try.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

No because they don't use it. It is a conversation I will have to have once they get a little more independent online (well, before then).

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Keep it public. Keep control. Remind them that if you wouldn't do it in real life you probably shouldn't do it online either. Of course in 10 years time I shall be eating my own hat.

Trouvere Tue 05-Feb-13 14:35:05

At the boringly mechanical end of internet safety, my browsers are locked down tight with NoScript and Adblock Plus. By default, nothing runs by itself.

Belo Tue 05-Feb-13 15:22:06

My DDs go on Moshi Monsters, Webkinz, Roosterbank and MovieStar planet. They're only allowed to be friends with people who they know in real life. They're 7 and 10 and I've told them that there are some people who enjoy pretending to be other people and will sometimes ask you trick questions. Therefore, you should only be friends with people you know.

Tweet2tweet Tue 05-Feb-13 15:35:30

Tips for safe Internet usage- young and old:

Don't use the same password for all your sites/logins
Don't use the password 'password'
Make sure you uncheck the 'keep me logged on' option unless you have a personal secure device
Clear your browsing history and temporary files at regular intervals
Install an effective virus/web browsing guard. You can download free from reputable Internet sites. Be warned that some banks won't cover you for hacking if you don't have a guard and your account is hacked into.

Specifically for kids:
Don't set example that surfing etc is what to do with down time. Encourage other interests; reading, playing outdoors etc
Don't have mobile app in one hand whilst giving your little one your 'undivided' attention
Minimise playing of computer games and rewarding 'winning'/reaching new levels. Although games have a place this is mainly a solitary activity
Talk about sweat you have posted on sites to try and encourage them to let you know what they have been posting
Have PCs in communal areas not in bedrooms etc

Now this is a very interesting topic. I have 3 children (12, 11 and 8) and I am very aware of the dangers of the internet. For this reason, I will not allow them on facebook until they are 13. The older two have mobile phones but are not allowed internet access out of the home. They have recently joined a messaging service called KIK and I have their passwords and can also see all their messages as they also come up on my ipad. Although they are aware of this access, I very rarely check it but think it's important for them to know.
I also have the passwords for their mobiles. We have talked about internet safety and only 'friending' people they know. We have one PC and it's in a public place in the home - no ipads or devices in bedrooms.
I would like to and be interested in setting up a safety net on the PC for kids and am currently looking into it. Would be very interested in any advice on that....

mill3003 Tue 05-Feb-13 16:38:11

My 2 daughters are currently only 4 & 6, so very rarely use the laptop, let alone the internet, but if they do use it, it is only to play a few games, which are loaded up by me or daddy & they know they're not allowed to search for anything themselves, plus they are always sat at the kitchen table, with at least 1 of us with them. I'm not sure how long we'll get away with this for, but as I have the "if they are old enough to ask, they are old enough to know" approach to most things, I will deal with it as & when I need to, with the help of parent controls to keep them safer!!

Snorbs Tue 05-Feb-13 16:46:55

My top tip for my DC's internet safety is to keep an eye on what it is they get up to online. Simple as that.

prettybird Tue 05-Feb-13 16:52:38

Ds also learnt a salutory lesson recently: he tried to open an account with Youtube (we'd been mucking about with loading a funny Burns Night video and he wanted to try to get it more hits, ie one from himself) - which he hadn't checked with us in advance about.

As a result, Google found out he was under 13 and locked him permanently out of his email account sad fortunately he didn't use it much but it's a hassle to try to remeber which programmes, like Club Penguin or CBBC, had been registered to that address

He's had a talking to but readily admits it was his own fault.

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