Keeping your children safe: online & beyond
It's never easy to know how to keep our children safe when they aren't with us, and sometimes even when are, if we don't know what's happening in their lives or on their devices! Who are they talking to, what are they doing, are they okay? Don't despair though...scroll through this page for help or click a button to go straight to a particular topics.
TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS RIGHT NOW!
We think all parents (not just of girls) may want to consider the message of this video. What might your children want to tell you but not know how? More Childnet for parents here.
Campaign from the Internet Watch Foundation raising awareness of how 11-13 year old girls are most at risk of being tricked or forced into taking nude images in their own bedrooms. Parent site & Girls site
From connected toys to sleep trackers, this spoof may make you laugh but will help you consider what devices to give your children and what to look out for. From the 5rights Twisted Toys campaign.
Why not catch up on one of our parent Facebook Lives with special guest experts on keeping children safe online...
SAFE SETTINGS, CONTROLS & MONITORING
Apple, Android and Microsoft have tools to help you control what younger children can use and how long for. Click the images below for details. Once they are older and have your trust, the same tools can help avoid arguments and help them learn to self-regulate (how long have they really been on insta today? have they put down the phone at all in the last week?).
There are no self-regulation features for older teens, but Family Safety is great for the younger ones
Internet Matters is an amazing one-stop shop for easy-to-understand, step-by-step parent guides to the parental controls on an array of?
Parents can now use supervised mode even under 13s with different safety levels. Find out more / set it up.
Monitoring: there are some monitoring tools, which send parents text and pictures their children and young people send or receive, but here are two less intrusive ones which offer support to the young person or only tell parents about general risk levels, trends and worrying changes.
No alerts to parents but instant support to the young person if they send or receive something worrying
This app works in the same way and also sends a general risk score to parents so they know when a conversation is needed (but it is not intrusive so no screenshots or text)
WHAT'S THAT APP ANYWAY?
What even is Fortnite (or Roblox...or Minecraft...)?
The best way to find out is to get your child to show you how any app or game works, what happens and if it's appropriate. It could be quick, or you might even find you enjoy playing or watching together!
Common Sense Media has thousands of expert reviews of apps, games and even films and what parents and children think about them. Take a look.
TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT LIFE ONLINE
It can be hard to talk to children and especially teens about their online lives, but it's so important. This is why:
So what can you do? We recommend a family agreement (example below) to make clear what is allowed...or not, how much time you can spend on devices, and ground rules like no phones at the table or in the bedroom at night-time. Watch the video with Will Ferrell to see why parents need to take part too! Shared expectations will reduce arguments and keep everyone safe & healthy.
You may find the Internet Matters parent-child quiz iPad app useful for its quiz that is fun and full of conversation starters.
Lots of parents worry about it, but we don't think you should worry about screentime - it's not how long they are online but what and when they are doing that counts (and the same goes for grown-ups, like in the Will Ferrell video above). You can use the control settings near the top of this page to regulate screen time in general and on specific apps, but beyond that we recommend you follow the Children's Commissioner's 'Digital 5 A Day' and help your children to aim for each of the targets in this pie chart ⤵
TOP TOPICS (porn, bullying, extremism, fake news...)
We have selected our top two or three resources to help parents on six key themes, which we think are important to all families. Take a look and see what you think - even if you think it may not apply to you.
SEX & RELATIONSHIPS
This is obviously a massive topic, but to help parents talk to children about the issues, check out the new #AskTheAwkward campaign from NCA-CEOP, with videos and tips on how to have 'that' kind of conversation.
From Thorn, this guidance on puberty and tech (for different age ranges from 4-6 to 13+ and beyond) is well worth a read
HELP & REPORTING
You can always speak to your child's school for advice, but there are many other places to go for help.
If you are worried about any child, call the NSPCC helpline. In an emergency, call 999.
But there are plenty of specialist helplines. Visit reporting.lgfl.net to find out how to remove content from social media and where to report bullying, racial hatred, terrorism, sexual abuse and more.
There are also links for children and young people to get help directly, such as Childline or The Mix (for 13-25s).
IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT US!
You should check out these amazing organisations which support parents and are bound to have something useful for you.
We love their...
MORE ABOUT LGfL
LGfL DigiSafe is a brand of LGfL - the National Grid for Learning. We may provide internet to your children's school, or web filtering, or low-cost devices to send home with students, or safeguarding guidance, or security products, or software licences, or curriculum support, or training, free-school meals checks or many other products and services.
Why not find out more at ngfl.net