Advertisement

loader

How to keep your children safe online

Children on computer

The internet is wonderful (without it, there'd be no Mumsnet!) but most of us worry about our children's safety online. The NSPCC asked Mumsnetters to share some of the family rules they've come up with for keeping their kids safe while they explore the web

1. Cover the basics

1. Cover the basics

“I have watched the CEOP KS1 Film 'Lee and Kim' with my little boy on YouTube, which I heartily recommend for parents of any young child aged between five and seven. It introduces children to the basic principles of keeping safe on the internet. Also, I think it is important to have lots of informal chats about the issues surrounding their use of technology.”

2. Keep a watchful eye

2. Keep a watchful eye

“Both children, aged four and nine, cannot use their tablets unsupervised. I have always told them that if anything unusual happens, or someone tries to contact them, then they need to tell us straight away.”

3. It's nothing personal

3. It's nothing personal

“We’ve taught them to never, ever give out personal details, including name, age, address, school, sibling names or gender. We made them aware that people they ‘meet’ online could be pretending to be someone they are not.”

4. Take time out

4. Take time out

“I limit the use of tablets because I don't think excessive use is healthy. We set maximum times they are allowed to use tablets during weekday evenings and at weekends.”

5. Open and honest

5. Open and honest “We have a very open and honest relationship with our daughter about online activity so she feels she can talk to us about anything. She always comes to us immediately with any questions about the internet, and we approve every friend request and check her private messages.”

6. Who are they playing with?

6. Who are they playing with?

“We are quite strict when it comes to games. There is no internet connection on any iPads the children use. They are not allowed to play any games which encourage them to play with random strangers, no games that allow messages and there is no option to download any games unless a pin number has been inserted by adult. We have also disabled the Facetime feature so they cannot use it.”

7. A weekly online catch-up

7. A weekly online catch-up

“Internet safety has always been prominent in our house. We receive a weekly report from our son’s laptop which summarises websites visited and any websites that were blocked. We have also always discussed grooming in simple, straightforward terms with him. We have explained that people can be whoever they want to be online and have spoken about cyber bullying.”

8. Consider a family safe word

8. Consider a family safe word

“My daughter is old enough to remember a password. It’s a secret code word that's only relevant to us. Anybody who collects her or babysits her has to know the password – that way she knows she is safe to trust them.”

For more information, or to download your family agreement template, visit Share Aware and for any advice – from setting controls to social networks – call the free O2 and NSPCC Online Safety Helpline on 0808 8005002