I kinda felt like online safety wasn’t really something that was relevant to my followers. Most of you have children under the age of 5 and I guess I naively felt like that meant it wasn’t something we needed to think about, yet.
Well, I recently did some training regarding keeping children safe online and came across the following data from the recent Ofcom report ‘Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2022’.
The report found that:
95% of children aged 3-17 are using video sharing platforms like Youtube or TikTok.
33% of 5-7s have their own profile on at least one social media site.
Six in ten children aged 3-17 played games online in 2021.
Look at the snapshots from the report! If you have a pre-schooler or any aged child above, then you need to know these things and you need to tell your friends!
Sadly, keeping children safe online isn't just about adding parental controls and asking for their password. This blog post will give you a starting point with where to start when it comes to online safety. I've broken it down into the following 3 sections that I think will be the most relevant for your families.
Questions to ask.
How to deal with trends and crazes.
Where to find more information.
Questions to ask your child
One of the main reminders from the training was to talk positively about being online. As with anything parent-wise, creating an environment where your child feels they can talk to you is vital. It’s also worth remembering that as adults, we view online and offline as two separate things. Our children don’t. These questions are adapted from the educare training.
What do you like about being online?
What don’t you like about being online?
What sites do you like to go on?
Which websites, games and apps are okay for you?
How do you stay safe online?
Do you understand what privacy settings are?
How do you put security settings in place? Could you show me?
Do you know how to block and report? Could you show me
How to deal with trends and crazes
Think ice bucket challenge or the bottle flip challenge. Research the facts and seek clarification. I’ve popped a few handy websites below that will help with this.
Be aware that like all things online, new trends could be a hoax. Try not to spark your child’s curiosity, we don’t need to name or share content linked to the challenge.
Childnet’s Be SMART rules can be applied to all online activity:
S Safe - Keep safe by not giving out personal information online.
M Meeting - if anyone you only know online asks to meet up, tell an adult.
A Accepting - think carefully before you click links, friends requests etc.
R Reliable - How trustworthy is the content you are seeing?
T Tell - if you are worried about something you see online, tell an adult.
Where to find more information
I’d encourage you to keep an eye on the following websites. As with all things online, things change quickly and these sites can be trusted to have the most up to date information.
Handy websites for parents and practitioners: