Keep your children safe online #GOLW16

19 October 2016

To mark Get Online Week, our Individual Empowerment Manager, Emma Young, shares some tips for keeping your children safe online.

Be aware of geotagging

Most smartphones have a GPS (Global Positioning System) facility that can track your location when you’re out and about. Sites like Instagram and Facebook allow you to publish to your social media with your location, which makes it easy to find others close by. So, make sure your child knows when they’d want to use location settings and what the potential risks might be. You can also help them switch them off when they’re not needed.

Setting up parental controls

You can use parental controls to restrict what your child can access when any of their devices to go online. Some providers offer free controls which run on different levels of access, that you can change based on your child's age. Installing parent protection apps on your child's smartphone or tablet can help you keep track of what they're getting up to. Spend some time with your child chatting about the sort of things you think are suitable for them to view online and explain that you've put these controls on their mobile devices and PC's to help to keep them safe online.

Staying safe on Snapchat

Snapchat is a clever free picture messaging app that lets you send pictures that will disappear after you hit go. Advise your child that they should only send snaps to their ‘real life friends’ and that they should only share things they would be happy to share with you.

Spending too much time online

Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on how long your child spends online each day. While it may be good for their social skills, it might stop them talking to people in real life situations. Spending too much time online can affect concentration, sleep quality, and sometime a child’s developing vision, so take care.

It’s important to strike a good balance between giving your child independence online, and keeping them safe. The web is wide and your kids need a chance to learn how to behave online and find out all the things available online.

Do you need our support or advice about internet safety? Emma's team offers one-to-one support, training and advice to our residents about getting online, accessing Universal Credit payments, setting up an email account, and more. Call us on 01934 526000 or 0845 8729729 for details.