Internet safety is an extremely important subject matter and one that shouldn’t go amiss when it comes to teaching your children how to correctly use technology. Of course, we can’t deny that the internet has many benefits, but it can also be very dangerous, particularly for vulnerable children. Read on for some advice from a senior school in the Cotswolds on how to teach your child to safely use the internet.
Start by explaining to your child what kinds of dangers are lurking within the internet, from scammers and hackers to cyberbullies and even paedophiles. Of course, how much information you disclose will depend on the age of your child, but if you don’t instil some level of fear in them then they probably won’t take you seriously. Once your child is aware of some of the risks of the internet, then they will understand why the can or can’t do certain things, like share personal information (e.g. name and address) or send inappropriate photos.
Explain to your child that they should always think before they post something online. Tell them to ask themselves whether or not what they’re sharing will hurt someone’s feelings, embarrass them or get them into trouble if an adult saw it. Let them know that once something has been shared, it can never truly be deleted, especially as people can so easily take a screen shot. With that said, your child needs to be very careful with what they’re sharing.
Let your child know that they can talk to you about anything that might be bothering them, in both the real world and online. For instance, they should inform you if they see someone being mean on social media. An open and honest family environment will reduce the likelihood that your child will keep secrets from you. Show your child how to block people and advise them against starting up relationships with people online, as anyone can pretend to be someone else when they’re hiding behind a screen.