As soon as children begin to read and write they are able to communicate over the internet, so this is the time parents need to be creating and agreeing ground rules, teaching their children about the dangers of the internet and educating them on how they can stay safe online.
Working with your child at an early age will help them to respect the power of the internet, develop a responsible attitude towards communicating online and know how to avoid or mitigate any potential online problems in the future.
Communication is the key to ensuring your child’s safety and wellbeing online. Creating a respectful relationship will also help build trust and confidence between you both, so that, if any internet related issues do occur – they can be addressed together. Building this type of relationship early in your child’s digital life will make all the difference as your child grows and becomes more independent online.
Many young victims of cyberbullying and online abuse suffer alone because they feel that their parents or carers do not understand the problem or that they will lose ‘internet privileges’ such as internet access or the use of cell phones, if they report any problems relating to the internet to their parents. This can lead to the escalation of problems and can leave the child feeling trapped or helpless in their situation.
The various categories within this section provide lots of advice and tips for keeping your child safe online. We have also compiled a list of ‘golden rules’ for young people’s safety when using the internet and social media. The parents area of the website also has further information and tips for keeping children safe online.