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Talk to EE about keeping your children safe online – HTC One handset up for grabs NOW CLOSED

(90 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 18-Nov-13 16:35:31

EE would like to know how Mumsnetters go about keeping their DCs safe online.

Here’s what EE have to say, “Like many things, digital living comes with certain risks if used inappropriately and it’s good to be aware of these risks. It's just as important to keep your child safe on their phone or computer, as it is in the 'real world'. We know our children are often ahead of us when it comes to tech knowledge. We aim to help you understand the issues so you can support them. That’s why we’ve got simple tips and advice that are easy to implement, so you can help your child enjoy using the internet and be safe at the same time.”

So, what do you know and do in the way of internet safety? Do you have parental controls installed on electronic devices at home? Or maybe you try to ensure that your younger children are supervised when browsing the web? What kind of online content do you try to monitor? Do you struggle to know what to do to keep your DCs safe online? Whatever your stance is on online safety, we’d love to hear about it!

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a HTC One handset. For full T&Cs please click here.

Please note your comments may be used (anonymously of course) on EE's pages on MN, social media channels and possibly elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck,


BlackberrySeason Mon 18-Nov-13 18:28:32

Everything I know about online safety I've learned on here. My greatest worry is other people not being as careful with their kids' net-safety as we are, so our dc are exposed that way.

My eldest is only 4 so she's supervised when on the computer. She usually only plays games anyway, either from CBeebies or the school's phonics website.

mary21 Tue 19-Nov-13 16:00:31

Using talk talk filter which covers all devices in the house. Only allowed to us internet in lounge. That in cludes phones and tablets The problem is when they go to friends houses. And smart phones in the playground.

The kids only have access to the internet in a room when one of us is there too. We don't peer over their shoulder but it would make them think twice about accessing anything dodgy.

We realise this probably won't work when they are at high school so we will get filters on the BT broadband, will try to make sure the children are educated about internet safety, and will work on a basis of trusting them, whilst probably at the same time checking their internet history on a regular basis... If anything dodgy does come up then we will take a decision at the time on appropriate action.

I worry about what they get exposed to at their friends houses, some of them have siblings and step siblings who are well into teenage years or even adults, and have all their own gadgets.

TEEARDIS Tue 19-Nov-13 18:07:34

My son is only allowed on the computer/tablet/phone when supervised, although that supervision might be from across the room.

He has his own log in on our Win 7 machine so he can play CBeeBies etc and I know he can't get to YouTube etc without my husband or I right there with him.

As he gets older (he's 4, BTW) we will install NetNanny or similar an he is getting a LeapPad Ultra for Christmas which has safe browsing built in.

I do think the number one thing to remember is to keep an eye and to remember, as Blackberry said, not all parents will be as vigilant, so talk to your children about what they see at other's houses and, if necessary, don't let them to go friends where there is no control.

WowOoo Tue 19-Nov-13 18:23:33

Like others have said it's what goes on at friends' houses that worries me. Especially those with older siblings.

Ds is only allowed access to the family computer so we are always milling around.
I monitor him when he's watching YouTube tutorials about whatever game he's mad about. Some of them have had some swearing - that was for Super Mario!
YouTube suggests other videos and this particularly worries me as sometimes I see things I don't want him to click on, just in case.

10thingsihateaboutpoo Tue 19-Nov-13 18:37:39

DDs are too young for this to be a concern yet but I do worry about them being on the internet as they get older as being attached to social media seems to be the norm for people now. I just hope I pick up security tips as I go along! Any kind of parental controls or advice would be helpful.

BellaVida Tue 19-Nov-13 19:20:52

We have filters, parental controls and passwords blocking PC's, sites and even TV channels.

However, there is still a risk- even some inappropriate content might get through the best of filters. Even seemingly innocuous teenage commentaries on some children's games, such as the latest Minecraft craze, can contain bad language! Or searches on youtube for Barbie cartoons can bring up vulgar content, so I always do the searches and check.

At the age my children are currently (all still in single figures!), we feel the only way to ensure they are watching suitable content, is to supervise them.

We have filters and passwords, internet is only to be used where it can be supervised with the exception of netflix kids section when they can watch it in bed in the morning after I've set it up for them. DD1 (12) isn't allowed to take a mobile to school and never has credit on it anyway so I think she has forgotten she has one.

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 19-Nov-13 20:36:03

Talk with your children about what they might find online, why you want to protect them from it and how they can protect themselves.

Never be angry at them for trying websites - you need to keep the lines of communication open between you so that they are less likely to hide their online lives and more likely to be open with you.

Talk to them about the difference between RL friends and online 'friends'.

It's one thing protecting them at home, where we can install and oversee filters, we need to teach them to protect themselves when away from us.

pancakesfortea Tue 19-Nov-13 20:40:53

We have a filter. But like others have said there's stuff I don't want them reading which would get through - eg upsetting stuff on the news. So we also have clear ground rules about what kind of sites they are allowed to visit and we try to supervise.

Friends houses are a minefield. My 8 year old son that his friend googled f***ing ar**holes on his ipad. He claims they didn't click trrough to the results but you just don't know. ad"

Tortoise Tue 19-Nov-13 20:45:30

I've got talktalk safety settings on which covers anything linked to home WiFi. And pc/laptop use is in the same room as me for younger DC. Also Google safe search settings are on.

moldingsunbeams Tue 19-Nov-13 20:48:24

Having anything linked up to the internet in a family room where you can see what they are doing is my best tip.
As well as nanny filters and talking to your children about how to stay safe.

We had a scary incident with dd at a friends house where she was playing a game she signed up for there and added and talked to people she did not know.

mercibucket Tue 19-Nov-13 21:43:50

so much is out of our hands now kids have ipods ipads tablets and smartphones with public wifi

so talking to them and educating them is the only version forward

MMcanny Tue 19-Nov-13 21:55:33

I keep asking DH to put some kind of nanny on the family pc but I still don't hink he has. We are still in single figures age wise and knowing my kids they are not literate enough to deliberately type in questionable searches, of course I am aware inappropriate stuff comes up with even the most innocent of googling. The only devide they have access to is the family desktop. No-one looks at anything inappropriate on that so one would hope this reduces the incidence of being spammed/getting rude banners etc. We have discussed with the eldest how once seen certain images cannot be erased from your mind and so far that's made him quite wary himself. I am more worried about his friends, some of whom have devices and are much more literate/curious about erotica. He's most likely to see inappropriate content at school. Hopefully on a tiny phone where you can't make anything out! Lol. We do keep a dialogue going with them and when they're able to make more of chatting virtually I'll probably step up the discussions. At the moment they mostly ask us to type things in/read out.

VikingLady Tue 19-Nov-13 21:56:06

So far DD is too young to be on the computer unsupervised, but I am very careful what info I share about her online. I do not put any info about her on FB for instance. As she gets older she will be allowed to use computers ONLY in a family room, and we will retain access rights to her email and accounts.

sharond101 Tue 19-Nov-13 22:15:07

DS is only 18mo but loves the laptop and iPhone etc. He just gets to see babytv app or disneyjnr but this could be a challenge I have yet to face.

prettybird Tue 19-Nov-13 22:15:59

Ds is 13 now and got a smartphone for his 13th birthday - but we had already established the principles of responsible internet access: the iPad could only be used in the living room with us. He went onto Facebook 2/3 of the way through S2 (=Y7) when he was still 12 but on the proviso that we knew his password and could "police" his account.

On those occasions when we were disturbing him while we were watching TV, he would go and watch what he wanted (usually streaming cycling or F1) on the stairwell up to his room as he knew he wasn't lowed the iPad upstairs.

Have also talked with him about both porn online and bullying on line and that he needs to talk to us if he comes across either (whether he is the "victim" or he is aware of someone else) and that he wouldn't get into trouble for doing so.

Pistillate Tue 19-Nov-13 23:08:42

I have explained to them that on YouTube, din't cluck on the version which says "parody" unless they are with me.

IAlwaysThought Wed 20-Nov-13 00:11:26

I have previously posted the following for Apple products that are running iOS7


Even if you have decent controls on your home network and it's worth following the info in the following THIS LINK . This feature is even more important if your child has a 3G device or accesses the internet via networks with no controls

It's a bit of a cop out to link to another site but it's so comprehensive I think its worth it.

Hopezibah Wed 20-Nov-13 00:13:48

We keep the PC in a family room so we can keep an eye on what they are doing. We also educate them about what they can and can't look at on the internet.

So far we've not needed parental controls but might do in future.

It is a worry that something inappropriate could be clicked on easily by accident.

DeathByLaundry Wed 20-Nov-13 07:20:00

Mine are 3 and 6 so don't have unsupervised access. They are allowed to play games on my phone etc but I'm careful about which ones. When the time comes that they want to use the internet themselves, which won't be long, I'll be taking guidance from MN!

I dread the era of smartphone use in the future. So much potential for disaster.

mirtzapine Wed 20-Nov-13 07:42:22

As EE acts as a gateway to the internet from the connection they provide, they are the ones who should be filtering and whitelisting/blacklisting sites. The same should apply to all internet service providers whether they are mobile internet services, or wired service providers.

There's no point talking about online protection, if the providers don't play their part. There are about 30 odd undersea cables entering the UK, filters can be applied at each of those points. Also as Edward Snowden has showed if GCHQ has the ability to snoop on the UK population, then use that snooping for good. Catch the bullies/groomers early.

aristocat Wed 20-Nov-13 09:24:28

My DCs do not have a phone yet but are allowed to use iPad with Internet access.

Itis a worry that something inappropriate could be accidentally clicked. They do use the tablet unsupervised and are 11 and 9 yo.

They do not have a FB account but DS is the eldest and has no interest in anything online except football or WWE or YouTube.

Online safety is discussed at school too but something that needs constant monitoring at home.

Elibean Wed 20-Nov-13 09:47:38

We have filters on everything at home (dds 7 and 10). The girls have iPod Touches with the browsers removed, just for messages, games and music.

They also have access to computers and an iPad (with the filters on).

Their school has clear guidelines on only accessing the internet with adult supervision, and the recommendation is to follow the same guidelines at home - this helps hugely, as the dds know 'our' rules are in keeping with school's.

The school also sent home the basic safety rules they teach to all kids in ICT (kids helped create the rules, too) which again makes it easier to reinforce at home. The partnership aspect is great.

My main problem with the internet is YouTube...which we kept, as it's so useful. Impossible to avoid inappropriate ads, at the very least sad

With dd1 (nearly 10) we have talked a lot about what she may find online, what isn't appropriate and why it isn't good to watch. In terms of danger, she's very clued up - would never give out info, knows the difference between 'real' and 'cyber' friends: IN THEORY. I am not going to relax on this one until I know she knows the difference in practice, iyswim.

We've also talked about how images 'go in' and once they're 'in your head' it's very hard to get them 'out. So seeing upsetting/violent/rude pictures would not be a good thing.

But most of all - they know to talk to us about anything they see or experience as 'uh oh'. I think communication and trust are key.

DD1 (y7) has just got her first smart phone.
We drew up a phone use contract which includes her not having it upstairs in her room, turning it off before 9pm every night, giving DH and I the password to her phone and the right to look at her browser history and texts at any time, and her agreeing not to use it to say mean things about anyone or to view or send inappropriate material.
We know she will make mistakes at some point and are prepared for that. It's a steep learning curve for us all and we have DD2 ( Y6) right behind, desperate to do it all again next year.

hench Wed 20-Nov-13 10:22:46

I used parental control and time of day filters and we used to have a single computer in family area. Now that we seem to have many more internet enabled devices (tablets, phones, laptops etc) it's all become more difficult.

CrewElla Wed 20-Nov-13 11:56:35

My eldest is only allowed to use apps that I've downloaded for him on my phone or ipad. As he gets older we will get him a leapfrog device that has the monitoring built in. We'll see what we put in place when he gets old enough to browse on his own, I expect things will change by then (what monitoring tools you can use).

So far as they are all primary age they use devices in the same room as us. i do the app downloading on the tablet or my phone and so know what they are going on. that is all set to change soon and i am have been thinking about it. we talk about online safety - protecting information, not sharing details or opening things that we dont know what they are. just last month i opened an email on my smartphone which said invoice that i thought was for something i had purchased and it was a virus. they like to watch films on youtube of other people playing games and sometimes the language isnt appropriate even though they are for childrens games. We have filters on the laptop and am aware you can do this on the tablet i think it will be a case of keeping a close eye and open communication on it.

gleegeek Wed 20-Nov-13 13:23:55

Some great posts here. It's all quite scary tbh, especially for fairly computer illiterate parents like me!blush

Dh has put on parental controls on our pc and tablet. Dd(10) is only allowed to use them downstairs in a through room, so I can easily see what she's on. At the moment I'm most concerned about what she might see accidentally, she isn't that much of a technology addict so doesn't spend huge amounts of time online. But as she grows older and becomes more aware of it's potential, I think talking, advising and supporting rather than outright banning will probably be the way we go.

Kveta Wed 20-Nov-13 13:44:04

My DC are still young (1 and 4), and only the 4yo ever gets near the internet, and then only under supervision. I dread to think what life will be like in 10 years time though, as it seems normal now for teenagers to have their own smart phones and tablets - so who can tell what the future of internet access will be!

AnnaConda Wed 20-Nov-13 14:37:32

That's how I first discovered Mumsnet, by Googling for Internet safety advice.

I must admit Dh sorts all our Internet safety out.

I've had chats with teenage dc about being self-censoring and I do trust them to avoid looking at things that might slip through. Once or twice things have flashed up at me on screen unexpectedly and the images were pretty sleazy understatement

I'm glad there are political moves afoot for porn filters, and greater responsibility from website hosts.

ksld Wed 20-Nov-13 14:45:35

Primary age children here so at the moment we supervise computer use. Tablets have passwords but that's to stop them spending money rather than any protection. Eldest DS uses google to find games and to do his homework. Am aware should probably be looking into ways to protect him with filters. Biggest concern so far has been friends - one is very computer savvy and clearly not used to supervision, and has tried to download stuff we don't want on to our tablets. Other friends have no idea of online privacy and have user names that are their real life name and age which worries me.

Also would be worried that whatever I do to protect DS at home other parents are not doing at their homes - lots of DS's friends have their own tablets, and are often suggesting Youtube videos for DS to watch - so far all innocuous but it won't stay that way forever, and I can't protect DS from seeing stuff on others phones/tablets.

Bubbles85 Wed 20-Nov-13 17:18:42

We set up all the parental controls when ever we buy a piece of new equipment. That's about it for us!

GetKnitted Wed 20-Nov-13 22:23:07

I'm sure we've had this discussion before! no change here. DS1 (5) has access to cbeebies, cbbc and mathletics smile luckily we are prior the problems of own mobile phones etc.

Glitterfairys Thu 21-Nov-13 10:29:56

Internet access is supervised and my 9 year old knows about internet safety , I have told him and also his school has talked about it too. Both boys are allowed to play on apps I have downloaded which are suitable for them and my 3 year old ds loves CBeebies and looking at different pictures of Thomas the Tank engine smile

LifeofPo Thu 21-Nov-13 12:54:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sassytheFIRST Thu 21-Nov-13 13:36:38

We do have parental controls installed on the kids' ipods (though doesn't restrict youtube, of course). They are also not allowed to use them in bedrooms/at night which gives us some control over what they are exposed to.

dd1 is 11. She has use of a v basic phone and has been promised her own in the summer, ready for the move to high school. We will get her one which phones, texts and has a bit of a camera but not a smartphone - she can have one of those when she's earned the money herself as by that time she'll be a bit more mature and hopefully better equipped to cope with the pitfalls as well as the benefits. As long as we pay for their devices/internet access we expect to be able to keep a close eye on their activities (including texts etc) - they know this and recognise that it is fair enough.

plum100 Thu 21-Nov-13 13:37:00

My dd's regularly go on the laptop and play cbeebies or binweevils. they are 9 and 6. 9 yr old also has a ipod which she can access youtube on - I believe that my dh set it for content under a certain age. She has unlimited access on her ipod and can use it wherever she likes.

Other than that we have nothing set up, reading everyone's posts has shocked me a bit - I didn't realise there were so many controls - certainly not only being able to use net in specific rooms.

I obviously need to find out more info but am reluctant to go into a shop incase Im sold lots of expensive stuff I don't need.

StrokeOfBadLuck Thu 21-Nov-13 16:58:39

Mine are now 12 and 14. They each have a laptop for doing homework, games etc and they must use this in the lounge. The older child has a phone that can access the internet on WiFi.

I was wondering whether I should check their texts, but DS (14) pointed out that everyone uses Whatsap (have I got that right?) so we wouldn't have a clue anyway. I think they're always one step ahead, so if they wanted to access porn, bully people etc, we wouldn't really know. After all, we don't know what they're exposed to on friends' phones.

By the time they reach secondary school, I think we are really dependent on them choosing to do the right thing, as there are so many opportunities to take the wrong path. I talk to them regularly. They're bound to make mistakes, and we can only hope it's nothing really serious. confused

On a positive note, when we discuss things, they do seem to be more sensible than I would have been.

Mnyoucleverboyandremember Thu 21-Nov-13 20:09:56

My two are at the age when they want to be on FB, kick etc. and I let them but we have a rule about me checking their accounts regularly and them being able to tell me exactly who each of their friends are. We have spoken about E safety and I know their school has covered it really well too.

Internet use takes place in the family living room.

I'm more concerned about when they are older so have already opened a dialogue about sexting, sharing photos, over-sharing private thoughts, etc. and will continue to nag them do so.

Mamafratelli Fri 22-Nov-13 10:08:34

I have all the parental controls set high on every device but I really struggle with YouTube. There are some fantastic things on there but then it's so easy for the kids to click on something unsuitable which means I have to either sit with them or ban YouTube completely.

Jesstryinghard Fri 22-Nov-13 10:19:03

Mine is only seven so has no unsupervised access so far

He has a tablet but I have not shown him how to go online he only
Plays games I have downloaded and I have spoken to him about not paying for add ons during games

When he is allowed access to the Internet I all have his dad install
All the filters possible to keep
Inappropriate content away from him ! I will also when he is younger make sure Internet access for him is in a communal space and not in his room

telsa Fri 22-Nov-13 13:39:29

I do not have any techno-fixes with mine aged 8 and 5. We have talked about the dangers of giving away information about yourself online. School has discussed cyberbullying. I keep a vague eye on what they are looking at online - they are rarely online, but seem to have discovered BBC iPlayer. I think it is best to keep chatting about stuff, rather than trying to find techno-fixes that get circumvented anyway.

NumptyNameChange Fri 22-Nov-13 15:24:16

for a start i can see no need for a young child to be 'browsing the web' supervised or otherwise.

my ds is nearly 7 and has never browsed the web. he plays games on a tab that does have web access but has no reason to be browsing. he doesn't go on my laptop.

we'll be getting a desktop for the first time this christmas and it will be in the living room and he won't be browsing the web then either. he wants the full minecraft so i'll put a shortcut icon on his desktop (separate account than mine with limited access) and he can click on that. if he wants anything else or to look at other stuff he'll have to ask me and be supervised.

he will also not be having a phone until it is really necessary and when he does it will be a basic one without web access (which he'll hate me for no doubt but i can take it wink ) and he won't be having internet access except on a desktop in shared space.

i just don't understand why people would let children have web access in private space - what could be the need? what is gained? it amazes me how naive parents can be in just dishing out devices and not supervising their use and it has a knock on effect on more responsible parents as they're seen as terrible meanies who won't let their kids do anything without realising that actually they're the ones whose parents can be bothered to protect them and put their wellbeing ahead of being popular and santa-like.

Alonglongway Sat 23-Nov-13 07:48:14

I have 16 and 13 year olds. My method is to make sure we discuss cases we hear of - they both know kids who have been caught up in difficult situations online, and we talk through different ways of handling these things. Also told them if they ever do anything stupid that gets them into problems, tell me and we'll solve it together. The power of the off button is another good one. Have a powerful desk top in the living room so there's less appeal for access via devices in bedrooms. And when they had blackberries, I actively discouraged BBM as that seemed to be the source of a load of hassle. And lots of positive use of the internet - the older one went to school online for a year and is now a film student and uses the internet heavily to support her studies. Younger one loves cooking and knitting and regularly uses youtube tutorials to learn new techniques

ThinkingWomansTrumpet Sat 23-Nov-13 09:04:07

I agree with numptynamechange's final paragraph, I think too many children have unfettered internet access as most devices have the capacity to link to the internet: games consoles, ipods, phones etc. I am conscious that my nearly 9 year old and his generation need to be tech savvy and let him have access to the family ipad and laptop, in the lounge. I am refusing to let him have anything he can call his own that connects to the internet, that he can smuggle out of my sight...the only exception is his ds but i have set the parental controls to keep it off the internet. Last year, i bought him an mp4 player that did videos, photos and music but has no wireless connection or messaging service. We can pre load You tube clips on to it at our discretion, the problem is it's not a high quality product. There appears to be a gap in the market here! i am tempted by the ipod touch but I don't want him to get into imessage just yet...there have been fall outs amongst his peers with in game messaging already and i don't want him to get involved at his age.
On the positive side, since infant school, both my children have been taught about the pitfalls of using the internet and I think establishing a dialogue about this early, as many posters have discussed, is crucial to making children understand they need to be careful. i think internet service providers and phone companies need to make information on parental controls much clearer and foreground them in their advertising, you often have to look very hard in the small print for tech devices, to work out how to set them up.

BanjoPlayingTiger Sat 23-Nov-13 10:10:37

My ds has a tablet now, but is not allowed to use it upstairs. To be honest I don't really know much about how to keep him safe online. I've talked to him about only looking at stuff he would be happy to look at with mum, and that not everything people say to him online is true. He knows not to give out personal information and always comes and asks me about things when he isn't sure, but it is something I really worry about.

knightonian Sat 23-Nov-13 10:22:44

In the last weeks we have seen great strides by internet search engines signing up to blocking pornographic "child" content from coming up.

I would like them to go steps further develop software to target those looking at give it freely to those law enforcement agencies we task with protecting us.

This way we could all sleep a little safer in our beds.

It's not rocket science and the search engines and internet providers hold the keys

mirtzapine Sat 23-Nov-13 11:18:56

Google is to blame - "Don't be evil" my arse. Any schmuck can upload my little pony porn (clopping its called) to youtube marked as safe and its up to me to report it. Yet I've got to be micro-managing anything my kids watch on youtube and report it. Google, you have the money, skill and people to prevent it, EE you have the money, skill and people to prevent it.

Both of you take responsibility, don't hide behind "free speech", work harder on protecting people. IF GCHQ can do it it so can you. It's your choice, use the money that you take from your customers to protect & serve your customers not the Board

JHart0 Sat 23-Nov-13 11:34:20

I rely too heavily upon providers for web content. I would like to see age related classifications websites

lottietiger Sat 23-Nov-13 14:16:49

My DS is only ten months but it's definitely a worry for the future. Younger and younger children are wanting tablets and smart phones which are difficult to police. Even if we decide to hold out til he is older there will be friends who do have them. I'd like to think by the time DS is ready for the computer etc things will be better but I'm sure they will be worse, who knows.

NumptyNameChange Sat 23-Nov-13 21:35:42

that's a good point actually - even if you protect your child at home other children are being bought smart phones that they're allowed to take into school and your children get exposed to stuff there instead.

i'm actually not that comfortable with children being allowed smart phones in school - it totally takes away parents ability to supervise internet use.

UKcanuck Sun 24-Nov-13 09:38:06

This is a huge concern for me recently. My eldest DD has her own laptop, which she is allowed in her room and I have no controls on it. That said, I am comfortable with that due to her personality, whilst being aware that maybe I'm over-complacent.

We are just about to buy a laptop for homework for DD2 (13), who will need more monitoring... So I need to educate myself, stat! I'm looking at Family Safety Centre and NetNanny right now.

I strongly believe, though, that we need to educate children about Internet safety and how to raise concerns, rather than policing alone.

madhairday Sun 24-Nov-13 14:55:34

This has definitely become more of a concern as our dc have grown older. They are now 13 and 10, and up until recently were only online on the family computer which is downstairs, and on which we have the Microsoft Home Safety thing going - which is great - it sends a copy of all the emails they have sent and received, and also a list of all the websites they have been on. But for their birthdays dd got a kindle fire and ds an ipod touch, and since then we've realised how difficult it is to keep an eye on them. The ipod has far better safeguards than the kindle which is a bit rubbish in terms of family safety - you can only turn the internet on and off for instance whereas on the ipod you can at least block inappropriate content (though doesn't work for youtube) hmm

So we've brought in a rule where they are only allowed on the internet downstairs - they are allowed to read books on their devices in bed but if we find them on the net they get banned for a while, which has worked so far - there has to be some trust involved. We've also installed passwords so if they want to download anything we have to put the password in as they are not told what it is (which they hate) ;) - this works well for keeping an eye on what's going on the device.

I do worry, but hope we are bringing them up to be aware of danger but also to trust them to learn how to use them's hard to find the balance.

TiredDog Sun 24-Nov-13 17:59:39

Parental controls on PC and it's full view of everyone in sitting room. Kindle is difficult to do the same on so I have unfortunately blocked access to the internet as a consequence.

DD11yrs has her own e-mail but it is copied to me so I know if she is receiving inappropriate e-mails

We chat about it a lot

nlondondad Sun 24-Nov-13 18:10:41

My youngest child is now 18.

When they were younger I took the view that using software to "protect" them was unlikely to be effective, instead we used a combination of vigilence - the sole computer with internet access was in the living room so we could always see hwat they were doing- and openly discussing, when it arose, the issue of inappropriate material, which of course they heard about in the playground.

The use of mobile devices obviously complicates things, but thinking that forbidding your child to have a mobile device will protect them is naive: they will be exposed to other children's mobile devices anyway.

In a way it is possible to get a bit carried away by the novelty of the hazard. I remember "before the internet" a bit over err forty years ago, in my final year at Primary school a boy bringing in some, actually quite hard core stuff he had found discarded in a hedgerow. He was, I recall, soon apprehended. Vigilence again...

NumptyNameChange Sun 24-Nov-13 18:24:48

but he had to find it and it was conspicuous and he was cuaght nlondondad. now it's on every phone and not conspicuous and unlikely to be caught. you do see the difference?

i also think it's daft to say well if other kids have these things then you might as well let yours do too because you can't control if they look at other people's.

it's like saying well there's not much point not allowing your 12yo to get pissed because they can still get pissed outside the house if they want to.

you protect the best you can as far as you are able. you don't abandon protecting because you can't do it 24hrs a day and in every context.

i do think schools would avoid a lot of hassle though if they banned smart phones or in fact if they banned mobiles or insisted they were cached in form rooms during school hours for example.

we did survive school back in the days before mobiles

NumptyNameChange Sun 24-Nov-13 18:43:07

also it's now likely to be a photo of a girl in the school on his phone and being passed from person to person leaving the girl in an awful position and the guy actually at risk of prosecution for distributing child pornography. the stakes have gotten higher and schools aren't actually coping/proactively dealing with it.

My son (5) is only allowed supervised time on the iPad which is time limited. He knows that if he accesses apps etc that aren't in "his" folder he won't be allowed on again for a period of time. He also knows that if he is ever asked to spend money/credits he is to check with us first even within the context of a game. We have in app purchases off, but I think it's a good message for him in case we ever forgot to turn it on.

When he is older, he will use a computer in the living room for school work. Our internet is already set up with parental controls so we are one step ahead rather than wishing we had done something in retrospect.

We've discussed what to do with wifi/mobiles etc in years to come (a massive projection, he won't be getting a phone or computer for his bedroom for many years) and we will change the wifi password and insist all phones are charging downstairs from a set time of night - assuming that there aren't any massive changes in these things over the forthcoming years.

manfalou Mon 25-Nov-13 10:01:21

My kiddies aren't of internet using age yet but when the time comes they won't be having a computer in their room and their will be a definite... you trust me, I trust you attitude put forward with the likes of social media sites. I will want to know the passwords but won't snoop unless I have reason to believe something fishy is going on...which I hope will never come about. Our 3 year old uses youtube to watch annoying music videos such as gummy bear and crazy frog but not unsupervised.

I think phones have become 'essential' for various reasons and when it comes to a time where the kids go out by themselves they will have one but not a top of the range, all singing all dancing phone. Snapchat is one of the worst things around at the minute so again something that will be closely monitored.

Elibean Mon 25-Nov-13 11:00:49

I do agree with nlondondad about vigilance and human involvement (ie parents interacting) being more effective than merely banning gadgets, though.

spababe Mon 25-Nov-13 12:22:12

it's a very difficult thing to police becuase although I have put controls on to make things as safe as possible for my own children, I do not know what other children show mine on their smartphones and laptops :-(

MyMillsBaby Mon 25-Nov-13 15:51:12

I saw a segment on This Morning the other day that horrified me on this issue. A woman's 5 year old boy had been browsing the web on a tablet and come across some pornographic content. The mum rang in to the show for advice and it broke my heart. There is simply NO NEED for a five year old to have unsupervised access to the internet. If they want to play a game, set up a unique profile for them on your device and ensure all the correct parental filters are put on their side. Make sure your own side is password protected and away you go. It's so simple, but so important.

janeyh31 Mon 25-Nov-13 22:31:18

My daughter's are still quite young so are supervised when using the internet & tend to play on cbeebies & apps we down load for them. It is definitely some thing I worry about when they get old & how I can keep then safe when using the internet

lorka Tue 26-Nov-13 10:37:14

My daughter is only 7 so is monitored all the time. However, my son is 11 and I find it harder to monitor him as he likes to go in to his room now. I know when he is on the internet it is a game he is playing ( I do check regularly and browse history) and he is not in to any kind of social media. We have talked about not giving any personal info online and the school has talked about cyberbullying too. Youtube does worry me though as it is so easy to click on something that looks innocent.

I think it's all about education. Dd is only 4 but already is startlingly adept with computers.
If we can normalise online behaviours and teach her morals of the digital world in the exact same way that we do for the real world the. I think it will set her in good stead.

Once she is old enough to use the Internet we will be placing filters on and all computer activity will be monitored.

NettleTea Tue 26-Nov-13 13:00:15

DD is 13 and has her own laptop. she knows that I might do the odd random check, but I believe in trusting her rather than forbidding, and being open in talking about dangers/inappropriate stuff.

DS is younger and I am more concerned by him. He is probably AS and so he finds it hard to understand my concerns regarding accidental browsing accidents throwing nasties up. He has pretty controlled access to devices, and I am in the process of looking at parental controls to try to reduce that risk.

DinoSnores Tue 26-Nov-13 14:14:03

DS has his own computer log in limited to 30 minutes a go and only goes to Cbeebies.

I think people are rather naive about how difficult it is to limit pornography on ISPs (how does a computer work out what is and isn't? even the Daily Mail website shows a lot of scantily clad women) but it does worry me just how easily accessible things are if you go looking.

NotAFeminist Tue 26-Nov-13 17:44:02

My little boy is just 13 months old!!! But, when he's older enough to use the internet, we'll have a family computer - not personal laptops/computers in bedrooms - that will be in a communal room so it's all out in the open. Same for us adults, we have our laptops out in the open. We'll teach our children to use the internet for good reasons (research, streaming age appropriate films, homework, writing, keeping in touch with friends/family who live far away etc.) Being a good example in how we use the internet for ourselves is a good way of ensuring our children grow up to use the internet safely.

gcn504 Tue 26-Nov-13 21:49:20

We have used various methods throughout the last few years: Child-Protection software which limited accessible sites & software which only allowed access to the internet at various times. However, as our eldest daughter has become a teenager we've lifted a lot of those restrictions to enable her to do homework. However, we have kept a few parental restrictions in place (youtube search results etc). A lot now is based on trust but we do still rely on software where necessary - even on her smartphone it is set up with a parental control for website access.

We do try and keep an informal eye on what she's doing from a social media point of view, as from some of the stories in the media about bullying and grooming, it can put the fear of God into you. These can't really be controlled by software so once again it's a relationship based on trust. It took quite a while for me to agree to her having a Facebook account but I think she spends more time on other apps like Kik and Snapchat which again, are in theory, open to abuse.

So software can help but a large part of it comes down to education (one of the earliest lessons I taught them was about phishing emails) and above all trust.

Pintoe Tue 26-Nov-13 23:02:05

I attended a very informative talk with my daughter at her secondary school about cyber bullying and internet safety - you don't know who you are really talking to online, etc, - it shocked us both and she was initially very careful. However she is 13 now and has Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, twitter, as do all her friends. They can access the internet on phones, laptops, tablets, iPods and social media is changing and expanding all the time; it's so hard to keep track of what's okay and safe. Recently on Facebook, there were a lot of links to horror film clips like Slenderman - she would click on a link one of friends had put up saying: "Great fun - watch this!" and be confronted with some gory clip with no warning at all. Unfortunately she has a very vivid imagination and found it difficult to get to sleep for a long time - you can't really do much when they've already seen something.

wonka Tue 26-Nov-13 23:32:39

My boys only have access currently to internet in the family room, where I can see easily what they are doing. We have regular chats about what is safe and not safe to do/post/look at on the internet. They know not to download anything or upload anything without checking first.

kateandme Wed 27-Nov-13 03:15:27

when they are old enough even homework can seem to private to share or having parents looking over.everything we look at them for seem to be an invasion at that id try to educate them.let them know they can come to us and think of ceritna filters.teaching them safety and the values is important.
with youunger children try to let them know if certian things pop up that they didnt click on not to open them.not to click on sites they dont check with us first for permission.dont download anything without asking.

MammaTJ Wed 27-Nov-13 09:10:52

8 and 7 year olds are only allowed to use a computer in the same room as me and their dad.

I have an 18 year old daughter, and it was the same for her until she was over 14, then she knew enough to come to me if there were any issues. She also knew I checked her FB etc regularly too.

BooMeowson Wed 27-Nov-13 13:11:10

I've just been telling my step-sister that she has to know the internet and the websites better than her kids.

She's not on Facebook although her husband is they're still not really technical. Now is the time for them to really get to grips with it and learn all about it so that they can be 3 steps ahead by the time my niece is on there in a couple of years

TheFutureMrsB Wed 27-Nov-13 13:54:06

My 10 and 6 year old DS's only use the internet when we are around to supervise what they are looking at but my nearly 13 year old DS does get a bit more privacy. He (although not old enough!) has a Facebook account that I have access to whenever I want it, and mainly just chats to his school friends and plays games.

I am worried about the content available online so I do check what he is looking at quite a lot and have spoken to him about unsuitable sites. We have filters on the laptops but he also has an Ipod so it's harder to control what he looks at but I am confident that he does use it appropriately as should he get an (shall we say) unsavoury pop-up he will tell me about it straight away.

My DP (their dad) worries more than me as to what the children could access on the internet.
We have the parental controls set up on the tablet which makes things easier too.

tinypumpkin Wed 27-Nov-13 19:42:07

I do worry about this. My DC are very young but even on you tube, it is so easy to click on a link that brings up a parody (and rude/violent) version of a favourite children's programme. I do watch what my DC are looking at but that is easier now. I will have parental controls etc once they are a little older but again would want the internet to be accessed only in places where I can supervise. I have not got onto how to manage this when they are much older yet.

Patchouli Wed 27-Nov-13 20:53:05

DD (9) has her own login on the family laptop and can only view websites that I've listed in her bookmarks. I let her use youtube etc when I'm with her supervising.
I do worry for when she gets a bit older though.

KuppiKahvia Wed 27-Nov-13 21:33:57

My dd's are 4 and 7. I have router level filtering and safe search enabled. In addition the 4.year old uses the laptop and tablet under close supervision. My 7 year old is supervised and I have talked to her about the dangers of the Internet. I think we have to give them the knowledge to stay safe on line. She knows to be careful about clicking on links and to tell an adult if something comes up that she wasn't expecting.
It is hard to give them enough freedom to enjoy the benefits of technology and also to keep them safe.

2kidsintow Wed 27-Nov-13 22:53:50

I work in a school and we have the community police liaison officer come to talk to the children about internet safety.

I learnt that some things I thought were innocent (Moshi Monsters) can be rife with people trying to contact children.

I let mine use the internet, but there are parental controls in place. The computer that secondary age DD1 has also logs her out at 8 so she can't use it too late at night when she should be chilling out before bed.

DD1 is allowed on fb, but only if my email is her contact number and only if I am one of her friends.

I learned from school that you can report those who shouldn't be on fb because they are too young, and that fb will (when they get to your report) investigate and then shut down the account.

meeps Thu 28-Nov-13 10:32:22

I'd like a little app that summarises what your child has looked up, or is looking up at the time, perhaps with a ping noise for one it thinks should be checked out. My son is supervised but it only takes a click on youtube - with youtube particularly I'd like to be able to block the comments.

SolomanDaisy Thu 28-Nov-13 10:36:00

My DS only uses the iPad when we're there with him. He s only two, so I haven't done anything except switch off in app purchases and the ability to delete apps. I'd like to switch off the voice command thing on YouTube, he's worked out how to use it.

BarfaStewart Thu 28-Nov-13 13:53:29

DS only uses the laptop or playbook when supervised. The security settings on his laptop are very high and things like youtube are blocked.

He has recently signed up to Kibooku which is like FB but for kids, and I have to authorise his usage every week.

momb Thu 28-Nov-13 14:03:38

We have parental controls on the internet at home. YD (9) uses the internet only with supervision. My concern is more for ED (13). She is at an age where she guards her privacy now.
Rather than trying to find even more IT safeguards (which she will get round if she really wants to) we're concentrating on an environment of openness: so we're raising the issues of safeguarding, potential abuse, bullying, trolling, sex, pornography etc so it's all out in the open: if she comes across these things hopefully she'll be confident enough to talk to us and we can sort out her concerns together.
IT is part of life, so we're addressing it as part of our lives overall rather than separating her virtual life from her evryday one. I'm confident so far that it's working: we have her passwords (and she has lots), but it does mean that we can sit down and go through her friends pictures for a laugh or she can share the occasional rude joke without us getting too cross.

Littleorangetree Sat 30-Nov-13 16:59:29

My son is only 4 so is rarely on the internet, but when he is on it I sit with him. When he's older I'm planning to put on parental controls and keep a close eye on what he's looking at.

Lovemykid Mon 02-Dec-13 09:39:33

I agree with Littleorangetree. I sit with my toddler to watch videos and other educational or fun stuff. Lately I've been using

Another parent recommended it to me because I was complaining about youtube and how expensive good educational videos are.
The website says that it's developed with child educationalists and parents.

Anyway, my kid and I spend some time everyday watching these short videos and we talk about it afterwards. I feel like he's learning more and it's safe to click on any links.

Bonzodoodah Sat 07-Dec-13 11:40:40

mine are only in infant's school so only have access when I am in the room with them. I do worry as they get older. And reading this I realise I haven't blocked the adult channels on the free view box. will go do that now.

peronel Fri 27-Dec-13 20:22:27

One (extremely) useful Christmas present this year has been a device with long and short straws intended to avoid arguments. So the children now find it great fun to be part of - and SHARE IN - the decision making process! Loads of potential arguments have been avoided so far...grin

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