Advice for Parents
Parents naturally worry about the dangers of their children accessing the internet. In many families, the children and young people are far more knowledgeable about new technology or social networking sites than their parents. It is also important to keep the dangers in proportion and to recognise that the internet can be a hugely rich source of beneficial information, that social networking can be fun and stimulating and that most people use technology very conscientiously.
There are, however, dangers lurking in the world of the internet and social networking. There are measures that parents can take to minimise these risks.
- Exposure to inappropriate or shocking content involving sexual images or violence
- Risk of financial exploitation from identity theft or the misuse of financial data
- Grooming by adults posing as younger people with a view to actual sexual assault
- Embarassment caused by inappropriate photos being more widely circulated than was intended
- Risk to future employment through employers finding inappropriate comments or images, perhaps after they have been re-posted by others.
- Participate in browsing with children
- Set limits on browsing, ie only in family areas
- Utilising the parental control settings supplied by the Internet Service Providers
- Installing specialised software that can block access to certain content or record attempts to access particular sites
- Talk to your children about the risks of not keeping material private. Suggest that anything they would not be happy to display on a poster in the High Street (photos, phone numbers, movements etc.) should not be displayed on social networking sites other than privately
Advice for Children & Young People
The internet can be a lot of fun and is the biggest library in the world
There are lots of activities you can do online, you can find almost anything you want to online. However, it is important you have fun online safely. Below are some tips on how to search online and keep safe.
- In your online searches make it clear what exactly you are searching for by trying to use more than one word to describe what you are searching for
- Unwanted search results online can appear from the smallest of spelling errors so be careful to spell correctly when searching
- Not all the information in websites returned in searches is correct. Make sure you look up other websites to check the information you need is accurate or additionally look in books or talk to others.
- You can filter your search results online this is important to use when you are doing an image search
- If you see something online that you dont like, make sure you turn off the screen or make the window smaller on a laptop and tell an adult as soon as possible.
- Dont give out personal details to strangers online the person you are talking to may not be who they say they are.