Online Safety Tips: few things you may find useful

Here some useful tips how to keep your child safe online:

Toddlers and Pre-School

The main risk for this age is for toddler come across some inappropriate images while watching a cartoon on YouTube. So the first step is to set up a safety mode on your YouTube page (see a guiding video here). You can also choose YouTube Kids as a safer platform to watch videos and Swiggle and Kids-Search as an alternative for Google when your little one starts searching online. If you are letting your kids to use Google search, you can exclude inappropriate search results by setting the Safe Search Lock (see video how to do it here).

School children

1) Educate your child: I believe this is the most important step as you can not control all devices you child would be able to access (think about playdates). A great source for you as a parent to read what to discuss with your child is Think You Know . The site gives advice for parents and children from 5 to 14+.

2) Know what your child is doing on the internet including games, apps and websites. The risk to consider if the app/game/site is age appropriate, can kids chat online with strangers while playing the game, can app allow anonymous chats, can messages self-destroy, can a child GEO locations be tracked. I would suggest Family Sharing setting for your devices, so what your child downloads on his/her iPad comes to your phone and you can see and just talk with your child that any new games, sites usage should be agreed with you.  As sometimes kids know apps that we do not, you can educate yourself about the games and apps here.

3) Set the rules: it is important to set clear boundaries and rules for your child online behaviour. Such as what information not to disclose, what sites and apps are not allowed, what pictures not to share. If you have a real rebellion and you want more control over your child online behavior, there are some apps that help you to limit Internet usage of your children such Our Pack or Screen Limit. There is also an app ReplyASAP to block a mobile phone of your child (or maybe a husband) until she/he responds to your message.

4) If you do not have a trustful relationship with your child, you may educate yourself on secret folders that older children may download to hide files that they do not want you to see. Some examples are below:

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If something is bothering you or your child, make a screenshot of any message (as they can be self-destroyed in some case) and there is a website Child Exploitation and Online Protection command where you can report your concerns.

We hope you find it useful, and do let us know if there other useful tools you can suggest to the parents or if you have any questions.