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Keep your child safe online: top tips
The online world is an exciting place with limitless opportunities for fun and education. It can also be a dangerous place unless used properly.
Take the following steps to ensure you make the online world as safe as possible for your child:
- Make sure all laptops and computers are used in a communal area where the screen can be seen by all.
- Ask your child to charge any mobile devices (phones, Ipods, Ipads etc) downstairs and NOT in bedrooms.
Safe networking / MSN / BBM
- Make sure the privacy settings are set to “friends only” in the “Account settings”
- NEVER include the date of birth, address or school name in the “About me” section
- Children should only add or accept people they know in the real world – NOT friends of friends or people they have met online
- Only post photos that you would be happy to show your gran! Be careful posting photos showing your school badge, the outside of your house/school and photos on holiday wearing bathing suits
- The best tip is to talk to your child and become involved in their online world. Ask questions about what they are doing and who they are talking to
Online gaming (PS3, Xbox, PC etc.)
- ONLY accept people you know in the “real world”
- Explain to your child that people lie online and can be mean
- Tell your child never to accept an invitation to move to a chat room with someone they’ve met while online gaming
If your child is subjected to any form of cyber bullying:
- Tell them not to reply
- Keep a record of the abuse for future investigation
- Tell someone in school or report the problem to the police
Be aware of the information that is visible via the webcam – i.e. names on certificates, posters of favourite pop stars – this can all be used by a potential abuser
Extra information about keeping your child safe online or reporting a problem can be found on the following websites: