Today most children tend to know more about computers than their parents. So it is important for adults to be aware of the dangers, to even small children on line, and what we can all do, at home and at pre-school, to keep them safe.
You can’t avoid computers, they are part of our world now, like it or not. With touch screen tablets and computers, children can easily navigate from page to page simply by touching the images which interest them.
Because of this, it’s more important than ever before that when children have access to phones, laptops, tablets and computers, that they are always supervised and that they can’t access sites which they shouldn’t see.
Advice to parents;
Children learn very quickly, and often they learn by watching. You may think you have a password on your computer that your child doesn’t know, but how often do they see you use it, and would they be able to copy your finger movements to be able to get into your phone independently? You should start talking to your child about keeping safe online at an early age. It’s easier to have conversations about online safety little and often, rather than trying to cover everything at once.
- Set boundaries from the start. It makes it easier than trying to play catch-up at a later stage.
- Check that websites are suitable before your child visits them.
- Look for websites that have parental pages that explain how the site works and how they keep your child safe.
- Ensure your home page is set to a child-friendly website.
- Talk to friends about what websites their children use.
- Play games with your child to get them used to being online.
- Set ‘Safety Mode’ up on YouTube to help filter out explicit content.
- If you use Google, turn on Google ‘Safe Search’ to filter sexually explicit content from your search results.
- Ensure any apps or downloads are age appropriate. Some games may look fine, but the age recommendation could tell you otherwise.
- Never use a computer as an electronic babysitter!
- Even when playing educational games, or when watching TV programmes for children, they learn more when an adult is involved in what they are doing.
- When you can, use the internet to help your child learn about the world around them.
- Be aware of what older brothers and sisters are playing and watching. It may be appropriate for their age, but should it be seen by a younger child?
When you upload photographs of your children to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, do you know who has access to them? Could they be identified by anyone with unwanted intentions?
At Clocktower Childcare, children never use ICT which is connected to the internet without close adult supervision.
For more information and a telephone helpline, please see https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
Remember, if your child sees something they shouldn’t, even by accident, and tells someone about it, it may lead to safeguarding questions being asked.