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How would you deal with 9yo and internet safety?

(5 Posts)
Thebewilderbeest Tue 18-Oct-16 14:23:16

I'll try not to make this too long.

Some time around the beginning of last week DD1 told us about an app that her friends use to talk to each other, and asked if she could download it. She said it's 'just for kids' and that they all use it, we said that it would probably be ok, but we would have to have a close look at the app and set some rules on her using it, so she would have to wait for that before she was allowed it.(We also wanted to ask the parents of her friends about the app before we downloaded it). She has the use of DH's old phone, there's no SIM in it but we let her play games on it using the Wifi, and she uses the PC at home for the internet, games and homework. She has had all the usual internet safety talks from us and school, about not giving out details, not clicking on anything she's not sure about, not talking to strangers etc.

Last week was awful, on top of a very busy week we had to suddenly have the family dog put to sleep and she didn't mention it again so we forgot all about it.

Well it turns out that the app is Google Hangouts, so definitely NOT 'just for kids' and she went ahead and downloaded it last Wednesday and has been secretly talking to her best friend on it ever since. She got caught out this morning when DH overheard her talking to her friend. I have looked over the conversation and there is a lot of 'I can't call now my Dad/Mum will hear' so she knows full well she was not supposed to be using it. She has also been asking her friend for other friend's details so she can talk to them too.

I upset for a whole host of reasons, not least that she has shown how horrifyingly easy it was for her to talk to someone over the internet without us realising.

She is in big trouble for this as she deliberately went behind our backs. I have already decided there is going to be a ban on her using the phone, and there will be some other consequences for lying to us.

But mostly what I want to get across to her is just how dangerous the internet can be, and that people aren't always who they say they are. She pretty much thinks we are being boring old fusspots who just want to ruin all her fun and doesn't want to take this seriously. She thinks she knows better than us.

What would/do you do with your DC in this situation? How do you make it clear how dangerous it can be while being age appropriate?

I could just insist on strictly monitoring all her internet use from now on (and believe me it will be very strict for a while), but that's not going to really teach her anything other than 'don't get caught out'.

Any ideas?

Gillian1980 Tue 18-Oct-16 16:56:36

There are quite good videos on the CEOPS website which you could watch together. They highlight the risks and consequences. They also make a thing of online grooming being by people of all ages etc not just dirty old men in macs which can be the misconception.

Thebewilderbeest Thu 20-Oct-16 11:38:35

That sounds like a good idea. Thank you

BlueChampagne Fri 21-Oct-16 23:09:00

Poor you - I'd be furious!

You could find out from school what they do about Internet safety information at school?

BlueChampagne Fri 21-Oct-16 23:11:08

Sorry, re-read and she's had the school stuff.

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