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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

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 06-Feb-13 09:04:56

Forgot to add, I tell them to not share passwords with anyone except me. They know I check their FB accounts and am on their friends lists. They have to check before adding anyone and if they can't account for someone on their friends list, they lose their account.

JenniferHelen Wed 06-Feb-13 09:59:50

We're super cautious about opening any links; not only does this let viruses in, but it can give predators access to your computer leading the way to identity theft and other sinister activities. If a friend sends you a link in any email with not much other text, and the tone doesn't sound like them, it's a hoax and best ignored.

turnipvontrapp Wed 06-Feb-13 10:10:38

Ours use the laptop in the kitchen, never bedrooms. The iPod touches are more of a problem. They have restricted access re the content on them.

Know of a friend's child who was 8 and was at a friend's house, they were looking at animals and saw something completely inappropriate and disturbing that an 8 year old should never have seen.

Please Talktalk use your power to lobby the government to make it law that you specifically have to opt into porn rather than everyone can access it. Know there has been talk of this. Do it so our kids can be protected and remain children.

zzzexhaustedzzz Wed 06-Feb-13 10:28:56

My advice: Have the computer in a public room ie not kids bedrooms! My daughter went with me to visit a friend. My daughter and friends daughter (both 9) went upstairs with laptop, and, my daughter later fessed up, accessed some porn.... I was not happy. Friends daughter when questioned said she had done it before! AND it happened to be stuff on my friends favourites or history from her own viewing! That was 4 years ago. My daughter has not been scarred by her experience, so far as I can tell... I was just relieved that she told me, as obviously she felt awkward about it. I am much more careful now and speak to parents of my kids friends about it when I know there is internet access out of sight.

Gracelo Wed 06-Feb-13 10:51:37

I'd love to benefit from TalkTalk's fancy Homesafe internet security thingummy but they don't actually offer services at my postcode. To be fair neither does any other provider besides BT and Sky.
At the moment I keep a close eye on the children while they are online but I need to have a chat with them, especially dd (8), about internet security quite soon. I'd like to see a law that makes porn opt in rather than freely accessible as well.

Blatherskite Wed 06-Feb-13 11:04:37

~ 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 has his own log on to the computer which is controlled by a program called Kiddesktop. It will only let him access specific pages of specific websites as preset by us - we can even lock off the printing options so that he doesn't waste tonnes of paper printing off "certificates" from the Cbeebies website smile It also has a timer function and will shut itself down after a preset amount of time which saves arguments about coming off.

~ 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've talked more about the behaviour of others rather than his own as he is only 5 and isn't on websites where he could interact with others yet. He's asked questions about why we don't let him use websites like Youtube unsupervised but we've just said that not everything on there is suitable for children.

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

I think a lot of children just need more supervision on the internet. We're lucky in that our PC is in a very public area of the house so it's easy to keep an eye on them and they're still young enough for it not to have occurred to them to mind. Make the most of parental controls, safe search options and blocking.

zoez Wed 06-Feb-13 12:55:53

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

NowWhatIsit Wed 06-Feb-13 13:44:36

Only 1 rule - laptop stays in main living room where I can see what they're doing.

At the moment my little one is 20 months, so I am not really faced with this problem right now. Tbh it frightens me to even think about the Internet and child's. obv, not in a daily fail kind of way but just in the endlessness of it all... Like when Prof Cox bangs on about million, trillion years etc... It just blows my mind.

I know from an adult point of view I have seen things on the Internet through very innocent means. That said, you only need to go on FB these days and 'friends' are sharing pictures which are viral and apparently clicking on it is showing your support... Grim.

I think the poster who mentioned ensuring you are able to not only use but understand the sites that are frequented by children/teenagers would be top of my list.

Making sure the computer is in a room that is family orientated and not tucked away in a room on its own.

I hope I have a better plan once DS is older.

bubby64 Wed 06-Feb-13 15:44:43

Q1 -I have internet security on all our computers and mobile, and this includes parental controls. On the computer and laptop the DC have their own log in and this has age appropriate controls set, they do not know the adult log in passwords. I have also activated appropriate parental controls on their phones, much to my DS (12) disgust.
Q2 -Yes, we have had this conversation, frequently!! whenever DS wants to go on website that are blocked!! I always say that I will look at the website, and find out its content, and if appropriate, will add it to their "allowed" sites.
Q3 -Most internet providers and mobile phone providers do have some sort of parental controls, get in touch with them to find out what is available and use them. I also have made it a rule in our house that I either know thier passwords, and can check their browsing history on various devices, or they dont have them. They are not allowed to delete this history, or its an automatic ban. This seems harsh, but I have learned from previous mistakes!!

Hopezibah Wed 06-Feb-13 16:04:05

~ 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.

The computer / ipad needs to be in a family room whilst the kids use it. That way we can keep an eye on what is happening. We used to have software that blocked dodgy websites but it became frustrating as it blocked almost everything and it became a hassle to keep unblocking or changing the settings.

~ 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 are very clear about them only being 'friends' with people they know in real life. We have also explained that people are not always who they seem online because they could be pretending to be someone else. They seem to understand this. Some of the games websites they use have a way of blocking and reporting dodgy activity by others and my children are aware of this. They also know not to give out any real names or personal information about themselves.

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

Be very aware that people are not always what they seem and don't automatically trust people. Keep the computer in a shared room like the living room and not in your own bedroom.

CheeseStrawWars Wed 06-Feb-13 16:33:08

~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.

At the moment DD and DS are 4 and 2. Rules are that they only use the computer with me or DH with them, and only for one hour. At preschool they use the internet to play games, and I have to trust they have adequate supervision/firewalls etc in place. The problem I can see is when they are older and can access the internet via their friends' mobiles.

~ 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 haven't yet, but CEOP's Thinkuknow website has some animated videos about "keeping yourself safe online" for 5yr olds upwards. DH and I are going to watch them first and then keep them in reserve for the time when that conversation becomes appropriate.

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

That CEOP website is quite useful, with banded info for 5-7yrs, 8-10yrs, 11-16 and parents. I heard of it through another Mumsnetter who was pointed at it when her daughter was having problems with online messaging from someone pretending to be younger.

Arcticwaffle Wed 06-Feb-13 17:56:38

~ 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.

Yes, we have rules for 12 and 11yo. they have their own laptops but these laptops go to "sleep" at 9pm til 7am so they can't be on chatrooms (or anything) late at night.
dd1 is nearly 13 and on Facebook but I have access to her account and I can check what's going on, she's happy with that.

~ 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?

Yes we talk about that sort of thing a lot, the dc are willing to agree, at the moment, to anything really as they can see it's that or not have internet access.

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

keep talking about why it matters to be sensible and careful on chatrooms. Watch TV news sessions about this or read newspaper articles on it with them. Then the rules seem less arbitrary and unfair, if they can see that sometimes thigns do go wrong or get out of hand.

~ 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 dd is only 3 so it's not a huge problem yet. At the moment and for the forseeable future all access is strictly monitored. She doesn't use it unless we are sitting with her.

~ 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?
Not yet as she is too young but we will be stipulating 'Don't do anything that you wouldn't do in real life' and 'Don't give ANY personal details ever unless you've cleared it with your parents'.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?
Be vigilant, use filters, set up networks etc. One day your kids will come across something that they shouldn't, it's unavoidable, but you can lessen the chances of it happening.

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

Skyebluesapphire Wed 06-Feb-13 20:21:01

DD is 4yo. She is only allowed on the computer with my supervision as I use it for work and therefore cannot have her breaking it. She goes on Moshi Monsters and CBeebies and Nick Jr and that is it.

As she grows up, she will have strict controls on her computer and I will talk to her about grooming etc (sadly actually had this happen to a family member), so very important that they understand these things.

The main thing is to never give out Real Life information, as a child as people are too easily traceable nowadays, thanks to the internet

abbeynationall Wed 06-Feb-13 20:58:00

In addition to the brilliant tips above,
1. filter what children can access on the web. There are softwares out there created purposely for filtering content e.g K9 (this one is free, it is used in some educational institutions and gets good reviews)
2. Create a user accounts for them that doesn't allow downloading content i.e a user account with very limited priviledges for lack of a better word
If your kids are still young and you're apprehensive of introducing them to the internet, Install games and other educational programmes (on the newly created kids account) but disable the web browser.
3. Teach them to create strong passwords after they leave home , not input very personal info on the net e.g House number. Teach them to just click on spam for any emails from unrecognized senders. ditto any lotto wins. Teach them to be weary of any nigerian tycoons asking for bank account details.

For adults, protect your computer against spyware, malware , viruses etc by using a security software. I highly recommend microsoft security essentials, its free, effective, doesn't take up much space,easy to use and quite unobtrusive

Change your password every 6 months and try to have a separate one for your online banking and paypal - where applicable.

Don't reaveal too much on the net - Its indestructible and will still be there long after you're gone

littlemonkeychops Wed 06-Feb-13 21:12:47

DD1 is only 22 months so i've not had to deal with this issue yet. Once she starts to use the internet it will only be with our supervision at first. As she gets older we will have to investigate parental controls, hopefully by the time she uses it unsupervised there will be efficient straightforward controls (that's what i'm hoping anyway as i'm not the best with technology!).

GetKnitted Wed 06-Feb-13 22:01:09

DS is 4 and his internet is locked down to cbeebies. I expect we'll have to alter this in time and begin to talk to him more about what he can look at and why not other things.

He's not old enough to talk about social networking yet!

For me, the latest web safety rule I have learnt is to never ever EVER click on an interesting looking video on facebook blush

zipzap Wed 06-Feb-13 22:58:17

~ 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.

Internet use is definitely a treat. Some bits like watching Youtube are only done when mummy or daddy are there and in control, other usage is monitored as described below. We are only just beginning to get to start to need to use the internet for ds1's homework so just beginning to feel our way around that.

DC are 7and 4. DS1 is allowed to use the internet on one of the PCs at home, in DH's office. He's only allowed on it when dh isn't working (although it's his home pc rather than one of his work ones - if he touched one of his work PCs I don't think he'd ever be allowed back on the internet!) but DH will often still be in his office - or at least in and out of it. Plus he keeps a close eye on the sites visited - during and after the sessions so if he spots anything dodgy he's on it pretty quickly. There are a set number of sites he is allowed to go to on his own (typically Cbeebies or CBBC, the disney sites, the nick jr sites etc), all of which are bookedmarked in a directory with DS's name on. He hasn't been too bad at wandering beyond these - if he has, it's usually because he has spotted an advert on a site he was on for another site that has a favourite character in and not realised that he has gone to a different site. He's learnt pretty quickly though and that hasn't happened for a while.
DS2 is that much younger and therefore sees the Internet on the PC as a spectator sport - watching his big brother playing assorted games (ds1 has cunningly learnt to say 'look ds2 aren't WE doing well!!' and throw in the odd game that has one of ds2's favourite characters in and ds2 is happy!
DS2 however is a demon on the iPad and iPhone - I try to ensure that when he plays on them they are set to not connect to the internet so that he can't inadvertently buy credits or apps and run up a huge bill. Even though he can't really read, he is fearless in exploring games and apps so can play most of the things I have on them better than me. I have tried to stick most of the apps that are for the dc on a couple of screens so they don't get into things that they shouldn't but they also use the camera (I love discovering pictures or video of them doing stuff when I'm not around - closest thing I'm going to get to being a fly on the wall!) and know how to turn wifi off.

I also worry about them being boys and sitting for long periods of time with these sort of electrical things on their laps - and therefore on their still developing genitals. I do worry for their children - nobody really knows what effects any of the electro magnetic radiation (think that's what it is called) will have long term, so I do try to make them use it on a table or even just stick it on a cushion, just in case, especially if they have a long go on it. Would be nice to buy something especially designed for this purpose though!
.

~ 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?

Yes - have had a basic conversation about what's appropriate online - but for now, as both dc are young, it was fairly tame - not least because until fairly recently ds1's reading and writing skills were not good enough to worry about him wandering into dodgy areas. he's just started at junior school and starting to use more so it's time for the next step of the conversation. He's not old enough for social networking sites yet so that side of things hasn't come up, we'll talk about it before he sets up a facebook (or whatever is popular in a few years time!) account.

And yes, he did get the message we intended to. We're doing it in chunks, starting early so hopefully it's not too much to remember for him, and we are around lots to monitor and see when it is time to talk about the next lot of stuff and spot any problems.

We are also very keen that they are very open to us with what they are doing online - if they spot anything strange or are not sure about anything, they know to ask immediately and not to start clicking on random buttons (having witnessed the aftermath of a friend's young dd play on her big sister's lap top, which hadn't been backed up. young dd did something that started to wipe the entire hard drive (including all her gcse course work) - she went to ask what to do but as the rest of the family were all in the middle of doing something she waited her turn instead of realising that she needed to interrupt urgently on this occasion - and in the mean time it meant that most of the memory was deleted, rather than the much smaller amount that would have been lost if stopped considerably earlier.
.

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

- start early and start on the internet together
- create a directory of bookmarks with the child's name so they know exactly where they can go
- say you know that they might inadvertently click on something by mistake - if that happens they need to let mummy or daddy know immediately (and not to get cross if this happens, particularly when they are younger - bit different when they are 13 and have done something maliciously)
- create rules in conjunction with the dc for using the internet together, both when they are allowed to use it (eg as a reward, treat, time spent online, earliest and latest time they can be online) and what they are allowed to do when using it (sites they can visit etc). Make sure these are printed up and stuck near the pc (or family noticeboard etc) so they cannot be forgotten about.
- If using a mobile device with youngsters, teach them to turn off the internet when playing on apps, it's not necessary most of the time and will stop anything being ordered online without being realised
- Create yourself a second birthday date - so that when you get asked to enter your birthdate on a site that demands it but you don't want to give away personal info, you can use it and then not forget it when you need to provide it as ID at some point later and are screwed because you aren't sure what it is. Chose an easy date to remember for you - say 1st Jan 81 or 14 Feb or christmas day or when JFK was shot etc. And make a hidden note of it in your diary or somewhere just in case you still manage to forget it - eg list it as Aunt Ethel's birthday. Obviously if you are dealing with the bank or tax man etc you need to give your real date of birth!
- create a password system for yourself for sites that need passwords but that you don't need them to be that strong (ie not for the bank or tax man). For example use the first 6 letters of the site's name but back to front, 1st and 3rd letter as capitals and follow by a number 00 or 47 (eg on here - EnSmum47) so you will always be able to work out what your password is.
-Likewise, create yourself answers to all the other typical questions that you get asked - mother's maiden name, first pet, where you were born, first school, etc etc. Keep these somewhere safe but that you know in case you forget them. They are not going to go check that it really is your mother's maiden name or your first school and fine you if you tell them the wrong answer - they just want to be able to have something they can ask you. Again - this is especially so for sites that don't really need to be that nosy and where the details could be hacked - and then used to steal your identity. So go for something that you will remember and use them consistently and it will be much safer (or if you have sites that fall into different categories - eg work related ones, shopping ones, fun content ones then create 3 different online security personas for yourself to use.

musthavecoffee Thu 07-Feb-13 06:19:32

I always make sure I am in the sae room as DS when he is online.

my ds is nearly 6 and so far he never goes onto the internet at home - the nearest is sitting next to me watching funny cat videos or me showing him pages on things he's learning about at school or interested in.

currently there is just my laptop in the house. about twice a year i wonder whether i need to get a desktop and set it up in a communal area and then i decide against it.

i'm afraid that despite being a very liberal mum in some ways (my child plays out on our street, has been allowed to go solo to the shop round the corner once and has quite a lot of freedom compared to most children these days) i am the opposite when it comes to this stuff. he won't have a mobile phone for the sake of it. if he went to a secondary school that required getting a bus (and in all likelihood he won't) then i'd maybe let him have one but without internet access. i don't believe kids need to be on computers at this stage and when it comes to him needing to (more independent homework etc) then it will be in a communal space in the house with me in and out of the room.

he has a wii but doesn't connect to anything on it yet other than iplayer to re-watch doctor who episodes and has a ds. so he things to play games on - it's not me being anti-screen time - but no internet access.

i will be having conversations with him about internet safety over time - i'm also aware of loads of great videos and resources on this topic through work that really are very good and i'll use those with him. i will also be educating him on porn when the time comes and know of lots of resources for helping with that.

it's bizarre really that some people are afraid to let their children play out on the street they live in and know people on but are ok with letting them lose onto the internet confused as much as i spend way too much time online i don't want the same for a child. i want them to be out with their real friends in real space playing real games and building up real social confidence and relationships experience. it will become a pressure of course when all his friends have mobile phones and facebook accounts and yada yada but i'm prepared to deal with that because i believe it's important.

loose!

WibbleBoy Thu 07-Feb-13 13:27:33

~ 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.

Time on the internet is strictly limited and the computer is in the living room where it can be monitored at all times. Windows safety features are enabled, so I get a weekly breakdown of the sites which have been visited and can disable access to them (remotely, if I need to).

~ 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 try to discuss these topics with DS1 where possible.

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

The best way would be to keep an eye on your kids all the time they are online. If you can't monitor them all the time, enable any logging, content and URL filtering controls you have access to. Check their web history on a regular basis for dubious websites.

If you don't want to be contacted by third party companies, be sure to tick the relevant "don't pass on my details" box. Make sure you have two email addresses, one for important correspondence and another for sigining up to mailing lists, etc.

Loretta61 Thu 07-Feb-13 18:11:22

You already know kids are more tech savvy than we are. Here's an example. When DS was 13, I set the laptop's parental controls so his Internet would shut down at 10 PM. I was surprised therefore to discover him surfing later at night. He had re-set the laptop's time zone to the Cape Verde islands, so he got an extra hour. Bloody clever really.

Quick tip for the adults and any teens that have a youth bank account -

If you haven't set up internet banking, do it now. Populate it with your passwords and security questions before some fucking arsehole intercepts your replacement debit card in the post and sets it up on their own behalf in order to empty your account or launder cheques. angry

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