Inform yourself - Use and understand the workings of the internet.
Talk to your children about what they are doing online. Your interest can be reassuring and offers the opportunity for them to confide, i.e. tell you if they come across anything on the Internet which makes them feel "uncomfortable".
Talking to your children about what they are doing also offers you the opportunity to advise them on keeping safe online.
Encourage your children to visit our Safer Internet Ireland Awareness partners "Webwise". Webwise provide a complete range of Internet safety advice for parents, especially for those with children of primary school age. It's an excellent resource for children, teens and adults...
National parental council also provide talks on Internet safety too schools.
Our Helpline partner in the Safer Internet Ireland project is "Childline". They provide a 24/7 telephone service for children under 18 who feel they need to talk about life difficulties they are having both online and in their everyday lives. In addition, Childline now offers an online "chat" service which is run from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily and "Teentext" a mobile text service.
- Keep the computer where you can see it in a busy part of the house - not in the child's bedroom!
- Don't forget about laptops and smart phones!
- Spend time online and familiarise yourself with websites and games they use.
- Look and take note if too much time is being spent online.
- Protecting privacy, don't allow your child to give out personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, passwords, etc.
- Behaving appropriately when using social networks and online chat, etc.
- Being careful who they accept as friends online. For younger children it should be other kids they already know from school or the neighbourhood.
- "Think before you click!" when uploading photos or videos. That is, asking yourself "would I like this photo/video to be online if it was me in the picture?
- Find out what your children's habits are regarding social media platforms.
- Strangers online can be hard to spot. Familiarise yourself with whom your child is talking online. Who are their "friends"?
- Check history files for suitability of visited sites and chat rooms (especially for younger children).
- Check e-mails (especially for younger children).
- Check mobile phone usage. Talk to your mobile provider about dual access or other parental controls they offer - even for prepaid (credit) customers.
- When the internet can be accessed and for how long.
- Never give out personal information without permission.
- Never agree to meet an online friend without permission.
Some more resources…
Get With It - Awareness for parents
The Office for Internet Safety has put together this excellent series of guides is aimed directly at parents guiding them through the often confusing and extensive new technologies and software that their children are likely to explore. These condensed booklets provide some great insights into social media trends and include plenty of techno and jargon busting guides. Well worth having a read!