1 Encourage positive internet use
When children access the internet in safe surroundings, it can offer exciting learning opportunities and fun things for young people to do. Explain how the internet is a great way to stay up-to-date on the news, do research for school projects and communicate with friends. Mix these positive messages with guidance on potential risks and dangers.
2 Don’t overreact or be judgemental
It is important not to overreact if young people tell you about something they have done online that you don’t approve of. Remember that children have different interests and use the internet differently to adults. Always remain calm and show that you are someone neutral and non-judgemental, that they can come to for advice.
3 Keep up-to-date with apps youngsters use
Talk to children to find out what websites, devices or apps they like. Recognise that many children are confident and comfortable with technology and will engage through different platforms. By staying abreast of the technologies they use, it makes it easier to chat about potential pitfalls or problems with them.
4 Establish a culture of open dialogue
By encouraging discussion, you create the foundation of a relationship that has the potential to evolve. Young people will feel more involved in conversations if you show that you are interested and engaged in what they are saying. Have regular conversations about safety and technology in the same way that you talk about being safe in the car or playing sport.
5 Create clear communication channels
Ensure young people know who to go to and how to ask for help or support. Make sure there is a clear route for children to take to report any inappropriate content, contact or conduct they encounter online to an adult.
For more tips and tricks, we have developed a series of comprehensive online courses for teachers and parents which arms you with the information you need to help keep children safe in the online world.