On Safer Internet Day, Jess Kelly has three simple tips to keep your child safe online.
With new data suggesting that 40% of children aged between eight and 10 are talking to strangers online, it is more important than ever to protect them.
Tip One: Start A Conversation
If your child is asking for a device of their own or access to yours, ask why. Find out what they are looking to do and make sure you are across every app and website they intend to use. Some games may have chat forums that appear after a few levels, while others may have in-app purchases that can run up quite a costly bill. It's important that you know what your child is doing and with whom.
Tip Two: Management
When your child gets a smart device of their own, associate it with an email account that you control. This will allow you to see what apps your child is using without seeing the content. Why is that important? This will give you the opportunity to learn how the apps work but also engage in a conversation if you hear a particular app is associated with cyberbullying or inappropriate content.
Tip Three: Ask the Stupid Questions
There's no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to your child's online safety. It's important that you have the knowledge to deal with everything and anything that may arise from your child's use of technology. There are excellent resources out there that look to help, such as WebWise.ie. But also, don't be afraid to ask your child for help too. That's the only way we'll bridge the knowledge gap.