Parental monitoring is vital – walk past and see what your child is doing, who they are talking to and what sites they are on….be aware if their mood changes. This is NOT invading their privacy at all…it is parenting in the digital space.
Make sure there is no response to rude or harassing emails. (keep a record in case of further investigation)
Advise your student/child to immediately exit any site that makes them feel uncomfortable or worried. Basic protective behaviour principles apply.
If the harassment continues….the current email account can be deleted and a new one started. The new email address should only be given to a selected few.
If receiving harassing messages on social media – have the sender blocked & report to the site.
If you have found inappropriate content about your child or one in your care on a website or are informed about this situation please contact the ISP and or Police or advise the parent to do so ASAP.
Have a family internet contract and set house rules about what information your child can put onto websites or share with others.
Be aware the majority of children WILL NOT tell a parent/teacher if bullied or harassed online for fear that they will lose internet access!!
Make sure that your children understand that they will not get in trouble if they tell you about a problem.
Parents must learn about the internet with their child – get students to share their knowledge of the internet with their parents in a fun environment
Spend time online with children, just as you would with many other activities such as sport, board games and walking the dog – learn and explore together
Install filters and other monitoring/blocking software to minimise dangers. This is already done in schools but advise parents to have up to date filtering software installed at home.
Know the sites they are accessing to ensure suitability. Filters CAN sometimes fail to protect and can be bypassed by a ‘tech savvy’ child.
ABSOLUTELY NO EXCHANGE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION!
Children Under 13 ARE NOT ALLOWED on Facebook, Instagram, Kik, SnapChat, iTunes and many more. Don’t support your child to break the rules & they won’t be the only one without these accounts. Learn to say NO!
Social Networking Profiles such as MySpace SHOULD BE SET TO PRIVATE. Use all the security settings available to make the site as safe as possible.
Friends on MSN contacts and social networking sites should be people that your child knows in real life. This is one way to reduce possible risks. Anyone can be anyone online.
Learn the lingo so that you can decipher some of the content if required. Advise parents to do the same.
Teach children that information on the internet is not always reliable.
Very close supervision for young children is recommended. There should be a limit to the email correspondence/msn to be a list of friends and family that has been approved.
Whatever your children use, you must use as well. Set up accounts on the same sites to ensure that they are suitable and the interactions appropriate. Engage with them online. This also allows you to know how these applications work.
If your child is playing online games it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that YOU know how to play the game too in case of problems. Play online games together.
Do not let young children ‘google’ aimlessly with no supervision. Children need to be taught about search engines and how they work.
The internet and the various applications are a lot of fun and a wonderful tool…maximize the benefits and surf safely together!
Please note that this list is by no means exhaustive and that there is no guarantee that adherence to these tips will provide 100% protection or safety for those using the various applications of the internet.