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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,


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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

mrscumberbatch Tue 26-Nov-13 10:46:07

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.

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.

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

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