Talk to them – It’s not as awkward as the birds and the bees chat TRUST US!
The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to talk to them and have regular conversations so that online safety is part of everyday discussion.
- Ask them open-ended questions like ‘What’s your favourite game or app to play on?’.
- Listen to what they have to say and show an interest. They could give you a demo of their favourite app or show you their favourite YouTube or TikTok account.
- They will probably be able to teach you things you don’t know! This will also give you an opportunity to chat about any safety settings they might already have in place.
- Regular conversations with your child will encourage them to come to you if they ever need support or advice.
Talk about who they are in contact with online
There are lots of different ways that children can talk to people online – messaging apps, on social media, and less obvious ways such as chat on online games. Talk to your child about who they are talking to and what they are sharing with them.
- Use settings to help limit who can contact your child. You can do this via app settings but also via the eero application we provide you at Brillband through blocking certain sites for different groups of devices within the home.
- Remind your child that they shouldn’t share personal information with people they don’t know online.
- Let your child know they can come to you or another trusted adult if any conversation makes them feel uncomfortable. It’s ok for both of you to feel uncomfortable and to reach out to different support charities that provide free and anonymous support.
Help manage what they see and do online
Parental controls and privacy settings can help you manage how your child spends time online and help to keep them safe. IMPORTANT let them know you will be doing this beforehand and why they are necessary to protect them. With older children and teenagers, this can help simulate two-way conversation and support you in setting “online boundaries” for them to be aware of and in control of. If someone online crosses these boundaries, they can come to you and speak with you about it.
- Device settings – manage things like location sharing, screen time and in-app purchases.
- App or game settings – in-app tools that can help to keep your child’s account private and manage who they’re talking to. You can generally find information on these in account settings or directly on the platform’s website.
- Mobile or network provider settings – help to manage browsing access and stop your child from visiting inappropriate sites or downloading apps that aren’t suitable. Contact your mobile or broadband provider for more information about setting this up.
- Leverage eero secure found within the eero application Brillband supplies you with.
It’s ok to ask for help!
Remember you don’t have to be an online safety expert. The NSPCC is there to help, with resources and advice to help support you and your child. If your child asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, or speaks to you about a negative experience they had online, here are some of things you could do:
- Visit the NSPCC online safety hub: nspcc.org.uk/onlinesafety
- Call the NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000 to speak to an advisor
- Speak to your child’s teacher