Being a parent is a tough job, especially with ever-changing technology!
With how much technology we all have in our lives, it’s hard to keep up with our kids especially what they are doing online! We read about the dangers of the internet, every day, and it’s somewhat daunting if your child is more advanced than you are. A lot of parents often wonder if there is something they can do to limit any threats or at least have the tools they can use to prevent the risks!
These 3 simple steps to improve online safety and will help you have just a little peace of mind! The best way to implement these measures is by beginning by chatting with your family about what you expect from them while they are online and open a dialogue about what is acceptable, the internet doesn’t have to be a scary place!
To keep your child safe on the internet/social media, always remember the three C’s:
Is your child showing bad conduct online, can you spot bullying towards or from them?
Whenever they are on their phone/laptop, always try to keep an eye on how they are conducting themselves. The internet can often influence children’s behaviour, for example, many gamers usually throw verbal abuse at others and forums can get pretty heated, it’s easy for them to pick up on this behaviour and use it in everyday life. My little brother, for instance, plays an online game every day and the language and taunting used in these games are pretty bad. It didn’t take long for him to use it at school because he thinks this is acceptable. What can seem like harmless banter online, could be bullying offline, and children need to understand how to distinguish between the two.
Is your child watching or playing content that's not appropriate for their age group?
This is a tricky one, parents have their own beliefs about what age a child should be for this and that etc. I don’t want to say this is wrong or this isn’t, but often games and videos are age-restricted for a reason. Kids watching videos out of their age/maturity level can lead to them gaining ideas or following trends that they probably shouldn’t at their level. A great example would be the latest trend on YouTube which is to eat washing machine capsules, it’s ridiculous, but kids may see it as funny and want to try it. The internet now has a lot of trends flying everywhere, and older kids/adults have different (often stupider) inspirations/ideas than a kid should have. If you can actively monitor your child on age restricted games/content and you’re okay with that, then that is okay but make sure to follow what they’re watching/playing.
Does your child/children know who that friend online really is?
Children befriending random other players is natural due to games being competitive and requiring teamwork and can be great for building social skills and shouldn’t be entirely written off as a danger. As long as your child understands the “stranger” danger philosophy and to never give their private details out to people that they don’t know, that includes their real name, their age and their address, this will go some ways to keeping them safe.
The three C’s are known, by many, as the most important things when watching and looking out for your kid’s online safety. The three c’s are very simple but are very useful, you should try practising implementing ways on how you can use the three cs for your own child’s safety.
We hope that you have enjoyed this blog read and hope it has given you some effective tools and insights into helping your kid’s safety online improve!
Tracking and having access to your kid’s phone is another great way you can monitor and improve their safety! The best way to help keep track of their phones is to install a parental control app which allows you to watch and restrict certain parts which could be dangerous.