Managing children’s online activities and digital experiences is a huge part of modern parenting. There are lots of positive parenting strategies that can help you set time limits around your children’s screen time (see Positive Parenting in the Digital Age). But when it comes to technical knowhow for keeping children safe online, these are the websites I go to for unbiased, easy-to-understand information.
Get Safe Online
Get Safe Online is a government-backed organisation that provides easy to understand information (great for non-techies) about all aspects of online safety. The Get Safe Online website is packed with internet safety advice for the whole family across all areas of life – a great place to start with any enquiry.
CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) is the national crime agency specialising in online sexual abuse of children. Individuals and websites can be reported to CEOP for suspicious, offensive or abusive online behaviour. CEOP’s website has advice for parents who are concerned about the way their child is using the internet or about risky or sexually exploitative online behaviour. The CEOP Thinkuknow website has information and advice specifically aimed at children who have had something happen to them online.
If you are trying to work out how to set up parental controls or you are concerned about online privacy issues then Internet Matters.org is a great place to start to find the answers. You’ll find simple overviews of internet safety issues for different age groups on their website – and a few alarming wake-up statistics if you need convincing about the importance of managing children’s online access.
UK Safer Internet Centre
The UK Safer Internet Centre has a selection of great articles that cover all the many different issues parents face when it comes to managing children’s digital lives. Thought-provoking and informative, these are a great way to introduce yourself to all the different aspects of keeping children safe online.
For advice on online bullying, see Bullying: where to find help. And if you want to get your kids off tech and doing something more active instead, check out these fun non-digital activities for tweens/teens and for younger children.
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