Internet Safety For Kids
So we have dealt with what apps are out there, how they function and what you can do to help your child navigate the world of social media.
This blog post takes the discussion a step further and focuses on one key issue that is becoming more and more common in this digital age – Internet safety for kids.
We can all understand the educational benefits of the Internet. Much of our kids’ social development now occurs via the opportunities technology affords them to explore and broaden their interests. There are many popular online communities and forums covering everything from Game of Thrones to Minecraft to make-up tutorials. Engaging with community members and sharing information can create a supportive and informative environment. When children are interacting with others their own age or their approved ‘friends’ on various social media sites, the barriers that may normally prevent them from telling people their life story or sharing photos, can be dramatically reduced. Staying safe online has never been more important for kids.
The NSPCC’s ‘I saw your willy’ campaign demonstrates how something even as a simple as sharing or screenshotting a Snapchat message can spiral out of control. It is important to remind our children that once they put something out on an online forum or social media site, it can be hard, if not impossible, to take it back. In a world where the phenomenon of ‘sexting’ is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst teenagers, this awareness of what can happen when images or messages get into the wrong hands is vital to staying safe online.
Internet safety for kids starts by having a conversation around what you and they do online. Make time to have regular chats with your children about staying safe online. Share your interests, talk about what apps you are using, ask what games they like playing and who they enjoy chatting to on the Internet. Frequent conversations can go a long way to keeping your kids safe online. The more you can have a relaxing conversation together, maybe sharing tips and ideas with each other, the better for you both.
A child that has an ongoing conversation with their parent around technology has a much greater chance of staying safe online and not getting to any difficult or dangerous situations. Also, if they do have any issues, they will know that they can come to you straight away to discuss their worries. Just like helping out kids to be streetwise in the outside world, we need to help our kids be cyberstreetwise online – www.cyberstreetwise.com offers additional advice on Internet safety for kids.
Children now live in an incredible world. They have amazing opportunities to engage with people from different cultures and backgrounds, from all over the world, something that most of us didn’t have growing up. The Internet is an incredible resource, if used safely it can change lives for the better. By helping your kids to stay safe online, you are guiding them towards a safer and brighter future.