Exploring Internet Safety with Your Child

#AD – This is a collaborative post

Internet safety is a hot topic for parents at the moment, which stems from the increasing popularity of smart phones and other digital devices. While the Internet, of course, comes with an abundance of advantages, it can also be a very dark and dangerous place. This is particularly true for young people who are naive of what could be lurking behind the screen. With that said, it is crucial for parents to educate their children on how to use the Internet in an appropriate and, most importantly, safe manner. I have teamed up with a private senior school in Surrey to offer you some tips on where to start.

The amount of information you choose to disclose with your child is highly dependent on their age and maturity level. For instance, your child may not be ready to learn about paedophiles and how they can find victims over the Internet, but you can certainly explain that sometimes people pretend to be someone they’re not whilst online. Essentially, they need to be aware that they can never be truly sure of who they are talking to online. With this in mind, your child should know that it would be inappropriate to accept a friend request on social media from someone they have never met and, of course, they should never meet up with somebody in person who they have only spoken to online.

Explain to your child that if they share any personal information online, such as passwords, they will make it easier for hackers to log into their accounts and potentially steal from them. Essentially, they need to be aware that anything they share online will become public knowledge and can never be truly deleted. This goes for anything from an intimate photo to other personal information.

When it comes to teaching the children about Internet safety, there are many more issues you could explore with them. For instance, you may also want to delve into topics such as cyberbullying and body image. These should be ongoing conversations that you have on a regular basis as a family, rather than something that you just talk about once and then forget. You basically need to instil these messages of appropriate online behaviour within your child until you can trust that they will behave in a safe and responsible manner.

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