What does my child do online?
The most effective way to understand your child's online behaviour is simply through asking. Start an open and relaxed conversation about the following:
- What websites and mobile apps they like using and why;
- Who they speak to most frequently, and the things they talk about and share;
- How they make online friends;
- If there is anyone they speak to online that they have never met in person.
Online safety isn't achieved through a one-off conversation. It requires you to keep up to date with how your child uses the internet and the dangers they may face.
Know the risks: In order to set appropriate boundaries for online behaviour, you must be aware of the potential dangers your child may face online.
Get tech savvy: Ask your child to show you how to use their favourite sites and apps. They will like being an authority, so allow them to lead the discussion. This will give you critical insight into their behaviour and highlight any potential concerns.
Read the literature: Changes to popular website and apps, especially those that could affect child safety are often covered in mainstream media. Take an interest in what is going on, and how your child may be affected.
Show an interest in what your child does online, and encourage them to use engaging educational websites. Ask them to show you anything interesting they have discovered, and try to do online activities together where possible.
Keep the use of internet centralised. Although this may be an unrealistic goal with teenagers, primary school children should be monitored very closely through restricting their internet use to a family room where they can be supervised. But please be aware that if your child has a smart phone they will be able to access websites unsupervised.
They are also likely to use the internet when they are visiting friends or at school. It is therefore important that you follow our preventative methods in how to protect your child online.