It’s no secret that there is a real need to keep our children safe online. It can be hard to know where to start, though. We’ve put together some tips and places to start to get you thinking about your child’s online safety.
Sign an ‘Internet Safety Contract’
You can find draft ‘contracts’ online such as these ones that make basic promises, such as not giving out private information or engaging/responding to cyber-bullying. The idea is that you sit down together, talk about the points, and then both sign it. Putting a signature to a contract is something that seems quite grown up and unbreakable to many children, so it is a step up from just having a good chat with them. It’s also recommended that you put the signed ‘contract’ somewhere near the computer, so that your children are always reminded of the promise they made.
If you don’t like the idea of a contract, then you can still use the points on the contracts to cover all the bases when you talk to your kids about staying safe online.
Check the privacy settings on their Social Media profiles
Make sure that all posts and pictures are set to ‘private’, and it’s not a bad idea to check who they are ‘friends’ with online. Having a fully private profile on platforms like Facebook will not only protect their privacy but also prevent anything they post from coming back to haunt them later on when they apply for college, university, or jobs.
You should also remind them that anything that they put on the internet will always be there, so they should think twice before posting!
This is really one for all the family – you should make sure that your computer is protected from spam, malware, adware, and all the other incoming threats by using a programme to block them. Telitec’s Shield is an ideal place to start to protect your children online, and as well as blocking incoming nasties, has many other useful options:
- Easily monitor browsing and get at-a-glance, customised reports
- ‘Whitelist’ or ‘blacklist’ specific sites
- Block malware, spam, and other criminal activities
‘Safe Search’ mode
This will not be as robust as a full safety programme, but is a great place to start adding an extra layer of security. Depending on which browser you use, there are plenty of parental and content controls you can implement in the settings. You can do the same for the Google search engine (though beware – savvy kids may be able to change these settings back! That’s one advantage of choosing a safety programme over controlling the settings yourself.)
Take the time to check what they’ve been looking at
If we’re talking about teenagers and older children then perhaps a different approach is needed, but for younger children you should certainly be checking what they’ve been looking at. You wouldn’t let them play unsupervised in a playground – this is no different.
If you find anything inappropriate, talk to them calmly about what they’ve seen. It might be that they came across it by accident and would never have looked it up normally. In these cases, talk to your child if they are upset, and then block the site using one of the above options.
Telitec Shield is especially good at assisting you to monitor which sites your children are viewing, as it has several options for breaking down their browsing history so you can view it at-a-glance.
If you want to learn more about Shield or any other Telitec products, contact us using the ‘Tell me more’ form on this page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.