10 Internet Safety Tips for Parents

I recently published posts with 10 Internet Safety Tips for Students and 10 Internet Safety Tips for Teachers.

If parents, teachers and children can all work together to build a culture of safe and positive internet use, problems can be minimised.

Internet safety is a topic that should be regularly and authentically discussed in classrooms, staffrooms and homes.

Here are some key messages around internet safety that could help parents help their children.

In addition to following these tips, parents might want to install filters on their home computers.

1. Don’t let potential problems stop you from letting your child use technology for their education and personal interests.

2. Put computers in a communal area of the house and don’t allow portable internet devices (laptops, phones, tablets etc) in the bedroom.

3. Find out what your child is doing online. Talk to them regularly about what websites they visit and take the time sit with them as they use the internet. Make sure you’re familiar with how the sites that they visit work.

4. Encourage your child to tell you if they ever have a problem on the internet or if they’re ever unsure about anything. Reassure them that you won’t take away their connection to the internet if issues occur.

5. Remind your child to keep personal information private. YAPPY is a useful acronym to remind children of the personal information they should not share on public online spaces (blogs, forums etc.) – Your full name, address, phone number, passwords, your plans.

6. Remind your child that not everything on the internet is true and not all internet users tell the truth.

7. Don’t support your child to sign up for sites that are 13+ if they are under age (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc). Make sure your child sets their online accounts to private to limit access to people they know well (when they are old enough to sign up).

8. Encourage your child to balance their leisure time so they’re not spending all of their time online.

9. Create your own internet rules for your household and have your child agree to adhere to them.

10. Explore government resources for parents so you can educate yourself and protect your children on the Cybersmart website.

How to offer internet safety tips to parents is another question worth thinking about.

I am thinking of adding a page on my class blog with tips for families. Regularly publishing tips in the school newsletter could also be beneficial.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/44102337@N03/7882614208 Attribution: CC BY-NC 2.0

I am also considering inviting parents for a cyber safety afternoon early in the new school year. The event could involve children and parents learning about and discussing safe internet use together. Hopefully the lines of communication would then continue into the home environment.

What other internet safety tips for parents would you add? I’d love parents to share what advice they think is important.

How can schools pass on internet safety tips to parents?

7 thoughts on “10 Internet Safety Tips for Parents

  1. A nice common sense set of tips Kathleen. The only one I’m not keen on is tip number 2 – devices in a communal area. My personal feeling is that it is unrealistic advice these days; I think if you were to poll your parents you would find they would agree that it simply isn’t practical anymore.

    Parental engagement from an Ofsted perspective is vital under the new inspection framework, so your ideas to engage more are right on the mark. I have started creating a free e-safety newsletter for schools which is written for a school to share with parents, you are very welcome to sign up to it and save yourself some work – http://www.esafety-adviser.com/newsletter.html

    One of the most important points that children and parents need to take onboard is where to go for help if something goes wrong. Children are not always comfortable speaking to an adult, including parents, so giving them another avenue such as a peer mentor or a national helpline like Childline is always a bonus.

    • Hi Alan,

      Thanks for your feedback. I agree that it may not be practical to place all devices in a communal area, however, I would still be concerned if children’s internet use is never supervised. As a primary teacher, I guess I am particularly thinking of younger children. I have had a number of parents tell me that they had no idea their child was doing a certain thing online. This shouldn’t be the case. As well as sitting with their child and talking with them, having the device in a communal area is just one strategy to ensure the lines of communication are open. As an e-safety advisor, you may have heard of Susan McLean. She gave the advice about computers in communal areas which to me made sense although of course may not work with all families! As I said, ensuring parents have some method to take note of what their child is doing online is what is really important.

      I agree a hotline is a good way for children to access support. An Australia equivalent would probably be Kids Helpline.

      Thanks for the link to your resources and thanks again for your thoughtful comment!
      Kathleen

  2. Great article!

    For mobile safety, there are some free apps that can help give a young child a safe mobile experience.

    For example, take a look at Kytephone – http://www.kytephone.com – which is a free download from the Google Play store. Parents use Kytephone to manage the content their kids can access as well as set time limits. It also has a SMS blocker and ad blocker.

  3. Pingback: 10 Internet Safety Tips for Parents « Mr. Fortna's Blog

  4. I think it’s important for parents to let their children online still, as you’ve pointed out here. I know it’s very scary to send your child out there alone but I think these safety tips are great to follow. We must be open and honest to our children about the potential dangers of the Internet. It’s great that you shared these tips. I think they are very beneficial for all parents. Also, I don’t think it’s impractical for you to have the devices in a communal area. I know families that “check in” their devices with the parents so they aren’t spending too much time online while they should be sleeping etc. I’ve discussed cyber bullying in my article http://www.asecurelife.com/cyber-safety-for-kids/ and I think it’s one of the biggest issues today online. Children should feel safe when they are online and not be bullied. It’s so sad when I read stories online about this. Overall, great tips Kathleen!

    • Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for your comment and link to your site. Lots of valuable info for readers. Keep it up!

      Cheers,
      Kathleen

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