Today is Safer Internet Day on Tuesday, 9 February. This annual day is to remind us we all have a responsibility to make the internet a safe space.
We have heard from parents that they feel they don’t even occupy the same space online as young people.
Being perfectly realistic here, you’re probably not. That’s not to frighten or worry you further, only to let you know the reality, and there’s still a lot you can do about a safer internet for your children.
Communication about online safety needs to be an ongoing thing. What was occupying most of your daughter’s or son’s attention online last year may not be the same right now.
They could be playing a new game, or on a new network which potentially means new sets of online friends, that they’re talking to all the time. This is something you need to know about and understand the world they occupy.
Discussing the implications of online behaviour on a regular basis is important too.
Make young people aware that once an image or video is out there online, it is out there. It can no longer be controlled as to where it goes and who sees it.
There have been many high profiles cases of cyberbullying that are of concern to a lot of parents. Read more about cyberbullying, what it is and what you can do about it.
Have regular open conversations with your son or daughter about what they think is appropriate.
Keeping communication open with your son or daughter means you can ask them to teach you about technology.
It can be very difficult to curtail the amount of personal content your son or daughter shares online if you do it all the time. There are plenty of parents out there overly attached to their phones or ipads.
Make sure you all (that’s all of you) take time to be device free at stages in the day, to talk face-to-face.