7 tips for keeping kids safe online
In this digital age, more and more kids are using the internet. Whether that’s to watch YouTube videos, scroll through TikToks, complete homework or video call friends and family, there’s simply no way children can avoid being online anymore.
As the time to head back to school is approaching and with many kids transitioning from primary school to secondary school, it’s imperative that they understand how to be safe online. So, we’ve assembled 7 online safety tips for kids.
1. Have an open conversation
First and foremost, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation with children about online safety. Discuss the potential dangers they may face and set some boundaries of what they can and shouldn’t do online. These are the types of things you could discuss:
The dangers they may face online
From cyberbullying to grooming, there are many dangers that kids could come into contact with online. It’s important to reassure them that they can always come to you to discuss anything that may concern them and any signs they should be wary of.
The content they’re watching and reading
One minute they could be watching an innocent Mukbang on YouTube and the next an inappropriate or upsetting video can play straight after. Let them know to flag anything they’re not sure of to you or someone around them.
The types of apps and sites they’re using
With smartphones and tablets, you’re able to restrict the websites and apps your child is using in the settings. However, kids are clever and still may be able to bypass the restriction. Therefore, set ground rules and have a frank conversation about the types of apps and websites they’re allowed to use.
Who they’re communicating with
Children may not be able to understand they’re communicating with a potential threat online. It’s important to discuss with your child that not everyone is who they say they are online and let them know if they’re not sure, then to come to you or another responsible adult, it’s far better to be safe than sorry!
2. Set screen time & ground rules
Although a lot of what we do in our day-to-day lives is now online, it’s important that not all time is spent in front of a screen. Set ground rules and curfews with your kids on how long they can spend online and on certain categories, such as social media and gaming.
In the settings of smartphones and tablets, you’re able to set screen time limits. If you’re unsure how to, the major makers have guides on how to do this and how you’re able to monitor how much screen time they are having daily and weekly.
3. Use parental controls
Parental controls allow you to filter and block inappropriate content from your children’s devices. Major smartphone brands will have parental controls available, so you’re able to filter content, location sharing, limit app downloading and restrict in-app purchases.
At Jurassic Fibre, we offer free KidSafe on all our packages. KidSafe is an extra feature that allows the admin to enable safer browsing options for kids, with the option of also blocking certain categories such as social media and adult content.
4. Check privacy settings
Privacy settings allow you to decide and limit who can see certain information about you online. This is especially important when your kids are using social media. Key things to look for when checking privacy settings are; who can see information, who your kids are connected with and ensuring location sharing is switched off.
One key thing to consider is ad blockers. The internet is full of ads, most are harmless, however, that’s not always the case. By introducing an ad blocker, all ads will be blocked which helps protect what your kids can see online.
By checking the privacy settings on your child’s smartphone or tablet, you’re able to help minimise the risk they may face, we’d recommend reviewing privacy settings regularly to help mitigate any risk.
5. Think about password hygiene
It can be tempting to use the same password across all of your accounts; however, this isn’t secure. Most children will use the same passwords they use at home in school, which puts them at risk.
How to create a strong password
Your first pets name or the name of your school, aren’t always the most secure types of passwords to use. There are some key principles to creating strong passwords;
- Include numbers, letters and special characters (such as ! or *)
- Ensure it’s more than 8 characters long
- Use one or more capital letters
- Don’t reuse a password more than once
6. Keep software up to date
Smartphones, tablets and laptops all run a huge amount of software. It’s important to keep your software up to date on all devices, as the updates could fix security issues, bug fixes and implement new security features.
7. Monitor what kids are doing
As a parent, it’s key to build trust with your kids. It’s essential to give them freedom when they’re online and not constantly be watching over their shoulder. However, it’s advised to check in to see what they’re doing online every so often.
What is their social media usage?
The minimum age for having a social media profile is 13. However, did you know that the majority of kids under the age of 13 have one or more profiles already?
If your child is using social media, here are some things to consider when monitoring what they’re doing every so often:
- Who are they communicating with?
- What content are they consuming?
- Are they posting on social media? If they are, what are they posting and sharing?
What videos are they watching?
Watching videos online is the most popular for ages 12-17 on platforms such as TikTok and YouTube. On both YouTube and TikTok, you’re able to take a look back at the videos your child has watched. By monitoring regularly, you can spot anything inappropriate and address it before anything further happens.
These are only 7 tips for keeping your kids safe when they’re online, there are many things you are able to do and conversations you can have with your children about online safety. However, these are the top 7 we would recommend you consider when it comes to the time your kids up their usage of being online.
As mentioned in this blog, here at Jurassic Fibre we offer a free KidSafe feature on all of our broadband packages, so you can help minimise the risks they may face online. Whether you’re in Dorset, Cornwall, Devon or Somerset, our Devon Broadband will give you lightning speeds from as little as £25 per month!