Staying Safe Online - Advice for Parents
The results from Dudley’s most recent ‘cybersurvey’ indicate that not all children and young people are taught to stay safe online by their parents or carers.
The research shows that parents are most likely to give online safety advice to eleven year olds, but after this age, their input falls away until fewer than half of fifteen year olds receive parental input, even though they are at the highest risk of experiencing online problems. The results also show that parents and carers deliver more online safety advice to daughters and considerably less to sons.
Being able to turn to a parent or carer when things go wrong is vital for keeping children and young people safe. And with this in mind we have pulled together the below advice from children and young people in Dudley to help you get started in talking to your children about staying safe online.
Advice to parents and carers from children and young people in Dudley:
- Show an interest – ask them what apps, games and websites they use and learn about the safety features on them (these are usually in the settings tab)
- Help them feel comfortable talking to you – make sure they know they can talk to you about anything – if you don’t know the answer you can research it online together
- Tell them to show you any messages they don’t like
- Tell them where else they can go if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you about stuff (another relative /school nurse / childline etc)
- Respect your children’s privacy – do not ‘snoop’ in their phone / websites
- If something bad happens to your child online, support them – don’t punish them by taking away their mobile / internet access – it’s not their fault
- Watch out for any changes in your child if you see any, share your concerns with the school to see if they have noticed anything
- ‘Clean’ your child’s friend lists with them to make sure they really know all of their friends and who they are talking to
- Tell them to keep passwords and personal details safe
- Get a good firewall and use parental blocks where appropriate (depending on their age and maturity)
- Don’t feel like you have to know everything and don’t feel silly if you don’t – look it up or ask somebody – your child will probably be able to tell you!
- Go to information sessions at school to learn the most up to date information
The below websites will help you to do all of the above and know how to deal with things if they go wrong!