Tuesday was Safer Internet Day, a day when organisations across Europe and the world focus on promoting safe, responsible Internet use among children and young people.
Our friends at eModeration are supporting Safer Internet Day, like they do every year, and have put together the following advice for parents whose children are online.
- Tell children to inform you of anything that makes them feel uncomfortable; and teach them to trust their instincts and report right away any behaviour that makes them feel nervous
- Make sure they know that they do not have to respond to any messages that make them uncomfortable
- Explain to your children that online friends may not be who they say they are. Don’t frighten them, but make them aware that they should never make plans to meet with someone they have spoken with online
- Make children aware that the difference between right and wrong is the same on the internet as it is in real life. Children can sometimes feel distanced from their ‘real’ life when online
- Set clear guidelines about when and where children may use the internet; and encourage them to share their internet experiences with you
- The email address used to activate a child’s account should belong to a parent, not the child. Tell children to pick a special online nickname to use, not their real name; and never to give away any personal information about themselves or their family, such as address, telephone numbers, photographs, or school name
- Read the parental advice guidelines on the site or game your child is using. These will give helpful advice on how to make sure your child is safe online
Learn more about eModeration and their fantastic work. They have even published a white paper on the subject, and worked together with me a while back on another one.