Protecting children from online grooming is a vital part of parenting in 2016
Online predators are unfortunately a part of modern life. Here’s what you can do to keep your children safe when they are on the internet.
With children under 15 spending an average of three hours a day online and 86% of children aged between 7 and 11 using some form of online communication on a daily basis, it is more pressing than ever to keep young people safe.
If you are worried about online grooming and your children’s safety online, a great place to start is simply talking to them about the social networking sites they use and ask them why they use them.
According to Internet Matters, a recent study showed children use an average of four social networks and apps and 18% of children aged between 7 and 17 have given out personal information online. We know it’s impossible to supervise your children’s use of the internet constantly, so talking to them about potential online dangers is a good way to keep them safer.
It’s worth checking your app store settings to ensure your children can only download age-appropriate apps. Most social media networks, including Twitter and Facebook, have an age limit of 13, so you must think carefully about whether your children should be using them under this age.
Our online safety book, Virtually Me, is aimed at children aged 10 - 14 and encourages them to better understand both the good and bad sides of the internet. It has a set of activities for young people to work through, which eventually leads them to creating their own personal guide to getting the best out of the internet – and doing so safely. If your children are reluctant to share their online habits with you, Virtually Me is a responsible way of guiding them in the right direction.
Communication is key in order for keeping your kids safe online. Make sure you have regular conversations with them and learn more about what they enjoy doing when online. If you keep regular conversations going, they are more likely to come to you if they see something that upsets them when looking online. You could even have conversations about how you use the internet; being open and honest with your children about your usage might make them more open about their time online in the future.
If you are worried about your child’s safety when online, pick up a copy of Virtually Me now.
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