Please note: This topic is for discussions paid for by Mumsnet clients. If you'd like to have your own paid for discussion thread, please feel free to mail us at insight@mumsnet.com. If you are a start-up or student and you want to request feedback from MNers, please post in Media Requests topic.

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

I absolutely agree with removing automatic logins. I found that it only took dd a few seconds to navigate away from a safe children's website onto amazon and about to buy an advertised product, with just a few clicks. It seems that you dont need to be able to know how to read to be able to buy things with the one'click option blush

My top tip for teenagers is to remind them that hacking into websites can be illegal and get them into an awful lot of trouble.

gazzalw Tue 05-Feb-13 17:03:37

I have an automatic log-in to DS's computer which I can access wherever I am, so I can check up on him and if he's playing too much Minecraft I can remotely turn off his computer or send him a message to ask him to change activities :-)

SunshinePanda Tue 05-Feb-13 17:06:18

Agree with others that talking regularly is invaluable, linking in also with the news when relevant. Remind my teenage DC you don't know if the person is who they say they are. Also once something has been put on the Internet it is always there it is not the same as just saying it to someone. Think very carefully before posting photos. No Facebook in our house until legally allowed at 13.

gazzalw - how do you do that and does your ds know that you are doing when you do?

gazzalw Tue 05-Feb-13 17:18:31

Yes he does! Particularly when he gets a message from me!

PM me if you want to know more!

Chickchickadee Tue 05-Feb-13 17:37:53

My DD is too young at the moment but I consider myself Internet savvy (work in web development and social media monitoring).

She won't be allowed unsupervised access to the Internet until she is much older. When she is using the iPad it will be disconnected from the Internet and WiFi passwords will be kept from her. The Internet is an amazing place I want her to explore but only by my side until she is old enough to understand what is inappropriate content.

Once she is old enough to use unsupervised it will only be on the main PC downstairs and only after she has been made aware never to give out any personal details and not to strike up conversation with people she hasn't met in real life.

As she enters teenage years I'll warn her that everything she posts on the Internet is traceable in someway and not to put anything out into the public domain unless you are comfortable with other people and not just your intended audience seeing it - friends / relatives / teachers / creepy old man down the road etc.

Roseformeplease England Tue 05-Feb-13 17:45:26

My children know that there are rules and that usage which is abused will lead to them losing privileges. They both conceal their identities online and I have access to all their passwords and accounts.

We often talk about safety and, recently, there has been a nasty incident at school which has become a "teachable moment" as they know the people involved and what the dangers were.

My top tip is to use Facebook or any social networking sites under an alias. That way you can "disappear" from the virtual world and be untraceable. Facebook wants you to use your real name but it is easy to find one you can use instead. Also, don't do /write / post anything under your name unless you would be happy to have it shouted on the streets or published in the papers.

CheeryCherry Tue 05-Feb-13 18:17:35

My DCs are on FB but so am I, and many older relatives including grandparents, which is a perfect 'firewall' to stop them putting inappropriate items on their wall/profile etc! I don't comment on their pages, though other family members do, and they're quite happy with that.
I've had endless chats about 'people are probably not who they say they are' and 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is' etc, which helps and I know that their schools are hot on this subject. If I read any news items regarding internet scams/safety or paedophile online issues, we discuss them usually after meals round the table.
Top tips are to be trusting of your own DCs and open and honest yourself, have appropriate parental settings, and ensure they never give out personal details.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 05-Feb-13 18:37:43

The only site that has my real name on is Facebook, everywhere else I use a nickname.

I have NoScript and Adblock as addons to Firefox. I also have Ghostery to block tracking cookies.

Ensure your antivirus updates automatically.

poopoopoo Tue 05-Feb-13 18:40:13

My children are only 4 and 5 so I always get them using the laptop while they sit next to me so I can help them. I use the time on the desktop to get the shopping done online wink

Osmiornica Tue 05-Feb-13 18:40:40

~ 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 eldest (6) uses my laptop to access cbeebies but only when I'm with her - she doesn't have any other access to the internet. She does use my phone to play games but I have switched off the option to buy extra stuff and turned off the internet.

~ 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, not yet.

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

Erm, not sure. The internet is not something they use very often so I haven't really thought about it much. Now they're getting older I guess I should be thinking about all this more.

EwanHoozami Iran Tue 05-Feb-13 18:53:38

My son is nearly four. I want the concept of teaching internet safety to seem as natural and instinctive as teaching him safety in the real world so we take the same approach.

We will gently introduce the idea of Stranger Danger as meaning the same thing online as it would in the playground. Obviously he's not using social networking yet (!) but we try and 'flesh out' the reality that strangers exist in both realms by asking questions to prompt awareness.

For example when DH and DS are playing a darts game on his phone and a real opponent comes online to play, we will flag this up.

I quite like this resource from BrainPOP Jr and plan to show it to him soon.

lisad123everybodydancenow Tue 05-Feb-13 19:37:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flamingtoaster Tue 05-Feb-13 19:56:39

Children should not surf in bedrooms - and parents should periodically "walk past".
Be sceptical when surfing - it is easy to be taken in by information or mischievious people.
Regularly run virus, adware and spyware scans.
Never give more information to a website than you absolutely have to - and consider having an "internet" birthday which is not your real birthday.

BabaYaya Tue 05-Feb-13 20:30:55

When shopping online use a credit card, not a debit card. You've more protection and if someone gets your debit card details you may have to redirect your direct debits etc on that account.

Don't blindly trust what you read. Consider the source.For example, health advice from a company you haven't heard of, but who will diagnose you online and sell treatments... Hmm. Ditto people who have written product recommendations or give advice on forums. Double check before acting on anything you read that isn't backed up by a name you trust.

Consider anything you write or send to be in the public domain. It is. This includes forums, emails, facebook etc.

Ensure you have internet security on your computer and if running apps on a smartphone, think about whether the app genuinely needs the permissions it asks for. Only download from recognised app stores.

HappySunflower Tue 05-Feb-13 20:34:23

Set up parental controls on each device...iPods and tablets as well as computers.
Computer time should always be in the same room as an adult.

These are aimed at KS1 children.
Don't set up parent controls, talk to your children instead! They will access the Internet when you are not with them, teach them how to stay safe, don't ban them from anything!
Help them spell words before they search.
Help them identify what makes them feel uncomfortable and when something happens that makes them feel that way, be available for them to tell.
Supervise Internet activity - a biggie.
Keep passwords, etc safe & don't leave a computer logged on especially if they are logged on to a social networking website like Moshi Monsters or Facebook when older.
Use this website to search safely online.
Speak to people online as you would speak to people if they were standing in front of you.
Don't make friends with strangers online.
Embrace their online world.

Again, don't ban anything!!!

youmaycallmeSSP Tue 05-Feb-13 21:31:55

- DS is only 3 but he does use our iPads with Internet access. We always supervise him when he's using one as he's so little but DH and I have discussed general ground rules for when he's a bit older. We plan on having a shared computer in the family room for the DC to use so that they're less likely to stray off into inappropriate websites by accident or through curiosity, and they won't be allowed to use chat rooms until we judge them mature enough to understand the dangers and have access to their own PCs/smartphone/whatever it will be in 10 years time.

- No conversations yet as they're too young but we will bring this up in an age-appropriate way as we do with other personal safety topics.

- If you feel like you need to hide your Internet use from your DP or, if you're a child, from your parents, then you're almost certainly using it inappropriately. Safety is about so much more than not sneaking off to meet strangers off a dodgy forum (grin). Gambling, dating sites, eBay, forums, 'special interest' websites etc. can all lead you to make unwise choices that threaten the physical, emotional and financial security of you and your family.

agirland2boys Tue 05-Feb-13 21:42:50

- no internet access allowed in bedrooms
- 30 minutes at a time max, in most cases
- try to position it so the screen is facing outward in plain view of passers-by

whattodoo Tue 05-Feb-13 22:13:47

My DD is 4yo and only just starting to show an interest in 'grown up' computers. She knows to ask before using, and we always do activities together.

We haven't yet spoken about appropriate/inappropriate use.

Tip - don't be afraid, just take the same sort of precautions you would in RL - don't leave your purse (bank details) in view, keep your PIN (login details) secret, log out at end of activity (zip your handbag when not in use) etc.

Eastpoint Tue 05-Feb-13 22:45:06

~ 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 children have all been given talks about internet safety at school and we also attended talks given by their schools. Subsequently we discussed what had been raised and how we felt these issues affected us. Children are not allowed to go on the internet/tablet/mobile unless given permission - DS13 & DD11 do not have internet enabled phones/tablets/laptops. DD15 has an iPad which she uses in her own room. I am a friend of hers on Facebook and she is very responsible & does not post images of her friends faces unless she has their consent (I know this as some friends only appear as handprints as those are their family's rules). She has a Blackberry which she got when she was nearly 13 having demonstrated over the previous 18 months that she was responsible. We have had lots of talks about how people are not necessarily who they claim to be on FB/texts and that anything you write electronically can exist forever. My DD11 is not on Facebook and has the older daughter's previous phone which is a very basic PAYG. My DS13 has no interest in having a phone. They also know that if they google something inappropriate it will show up in 'history' and that if 'history' is clear they are in big trouble. Laptops are only used in the kitchen/diningroom/sitting room/playroom.

~ 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 after talks held by school also after reading articles in the paper or after hearing news items on the radio (no tv in kitchen). Lots of discussion about people potentially feeling left out with instant messaging & how important to make sure not bullying etc. Have raised hypothetical issues and children have enjoyed discussions.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters? Talk to your children, treating them as sensible individuals and behave responsibly yourself. Don't post anything anywhere which you feel could give you a bad reputation, remember that future employers/universities will be able to look at pictures/postings and that this could affect your future. The internet is a wonderful resource and we are very lucky to have it.

butterflymum Tue 05-Feb-13 23:22:28

If using google browser, make sure safesearch is set as standard on their computer:

www.safesearchkids.com/

dotcomlovenest Wed 06-Feb-13 08:28:38

They are not allowed to register for a site without my permission. They must tell me if they are in a conversation with soneonethey feel uncomfortable about.
I dont put any parental safe modes on anything as I don't think they work very well. My daughters school has a system in place and she is forever telling me that so and so typed in something and got boobs. My partner worked for their IT department and was forever having to ban a new site.
I think teaching our children what is appropriate and what isn't is far more valuable.

dotcomlovenest Wed 06-Feb-13 08:31:09

They are not allowed to register for a site without my permission. They must tell me if they are in a conversation with soneonethey feel uncomfortable about.
I dont put any parental safe modes on anything as I don't think they work very well. My daughters school has a system in place and she is forever telling me that so and so typed in something and got boobs. My partner worked for their IT department and was forever having to ban a new site.
I think teaching our children what is appropriate and what isn't is far more valuable.

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 06-Feb-13 09:03:04

~ How do you go about making sure your children use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use?

Internet use is restricted to downstairs. I limit screen time anyway so this isn't difficult to enforce. I am trying to prepare them for realistic internet use, so don't have parental controls or filters, I have rules and open dialogue instead.

~ 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?

The children's uncle does a lot of work on anti-bullying in schools, so I got him to have a chat about Cyberbullying to back up what I've been saying. Their safety is my responsibility and I don't sugarcoat things. For example, making sure they know it's more likely to be some weirdo trying to friend them than the actual Harry Styles!

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

Be open- if you supervise your children, keep them informed and have an open dialogue so that they can approach you if need be, you are on the way to keeping them safe.
Know what they are using. So many parents have no clue about Facebook, Kick, Facetime, Ask, etc. You need to know what they have access to in order to keep tabs on your children.
Start the dialogue/rules young, so that by the time they want FB etc. your rules are already set and followed.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now