The internet is an amazing tool. We use it to watch catch up TV, shopping and finding some pretty spectacular deals, downloading music, films and books, researching information – it is the largest library ever created and it continues to grow every single day. We need it for work, preschools, schools, universities access the internet, communication via social media with friends and family and even asking for help – online Drs, advice, forums, etc. The internet has so many uses.
I asked my 6 year old what is the internet. She replied, “Its something you want to know about and if you don’t know you can go on the internet.”
Most adults are pretty savvy when it comes to E-Safety, but how many of you parents pass on your knowledge to your kids. How many parents know exactly what their child does online?
Does your child have a Facebook account?
Facebook began as a school-based social network that was created in 2004 by a man called Mark Zuckerberg. It allows users to connect and share with your family and friends online. Facebook is so popular it has 2.2 billion monthly active users.
Did you know that the minimum age to sign up for an account with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp is 13?
Did you know that 78% of 10-12-year-olds in the UK have social media accounts?
We will never stop children from setting up accounts, if they don’t do it at home, they will do it on their phone, a friends phone. Where there’s a will there’s a way. But we can teach our children basic E-safety. Schools do teach it also, but it’s not a consistent lesson, it’s periodically during the school terms.
We need our children to become digitally resilient. Left to their own devices this is less likely to happen.
Guide for Passwords
-Do not use the same password for everything.
-Do not create a password using personal information.
-Do not write down your passwords on your phone.
-Do not autosave passwords.
-Use password generating websites for the safest combinations.
-If you do write passwords down, use code that only you can interpret.
If someone has access to your passwords this could potentially lead to hacking and the stealing of personal information.
There is a new word that not many people have heard it is called sharenting. Sharenting is the use of social media to share news and images of your children. According to Parentzone, on average a parents will have posted 1,500 photos of their child by their 5th birthday online. This is a shocking statistic and has certainly made me think differently about what I post. The risks of sharenting are if you share you reveal too much of your child’s private life, you could embarrass them and potentially put them at risk of bullying, also the most scariest risk is someone you do not know could steal the images and use them. Quite sickening really.
As a parent, I’d expect other people to ask me for permission to take photos of my child ie- at a birthday party. Do you as a parent ask your child permission to take a photo of them and post online?
If you are going to post a photo, however, there are some basic rules.
– Do not expose what school or clubs they attend
– Do not make your home location identifiable
– Do not post inappropriate pics ie: young children in bikinis.
– Crop photos that may contain images of other children, those you do not have consent for.
If those photos end up in the wrong hands, it’s not worth thinking about what COULD happen and has happened before in the UK.
Does your child play the latest music, and watch films on their phones or tablets? Most parents allow their child to access subscribed services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Amazon music eta… But some don’t. Make sure they are not illegal downloading content. They may not know they are. Make them understand that it is a crime and that it’s not OK.
We all know what bullying is, does your child know about trolling and roasting? Basically, it is online cyberbullying, and it is not OK! Anti Bullying Week is something we have heard of, it now it has to educate children about cyberbullying, including Trolling and roasting. It takes place this year, 2018, from the 12th-16th November. This year’s theme is ‘Choo’. Read more here
Does your child know how to spot fake news? Do you? I know I have been caught out before.
Fake news is stories online that are inaccurate or completely made up. People produce fake news to sometimes get clicks – this is called click bait and it can be used to make money, get more attention or make people think a different way about a certain topic.
So how do you spot fake news?
-Does the website address/URL look strange or suspicious? ie: does it end in .com.co or .me? Not the usual .com/.co.uk
-Does the image look dodgy, does it look cropped or photocopied?
-Has the story been reported elsewhere?
-Have you ever heard if the web address?
-Does the story sound true?
It’s not easy for adults to always spot fake news, so imagine how hard it is for kids.
Sometimes on fake news sites, there may be adverts that sounds too good to be true “click here to win £100″… really as if it would be that easy! Be careful because sometimes you can click on these suspicious adverts and you could end up with a virus or a potential ransom, where someone takes control of your computer and you have you pay a fee.
It really isn’t worth it. for a list of fake news websites.
The internet is always evolving, and it’s our job as parents to be in the know so we can help and guide our children.
What can you do as a parent to help your child.
– Read this article and be aware.
– Talk to your child about the apps they use and what they use them for.
– Learn how to use Snapchat, if they end up with a problem you can then help them.
– Teach your child how to report something they find upsetting.
– Balance their screentime ,make time to be gadget free as a family.
– Let them know you are there if they ever feel unsure about anything online.
– Remind them that not everyone online is who they say they are. Don’t befriend people they do not know.
– Check their privacy settings make them as high as possible, explain why this is important.
-Cover webcams when they are not in use.
Let’s teach our children digital resilience, the internet doesn’t always have to be scary, you just have to know how to keep safe.
Featured Image: Pixabay