Keeping virtual lives safe
The Internet is a fantastic and valuable resource for children and young people, but it also provides a number of avenues through which they can be made vulnerable or exposed to unsuitable content.
HELP. COUNSELLING. SUPPORT.
Safer Internet Day is tomorrow, February 10, and encourages the safe and responsible use of new technologies, especially among the young.
Kids Helpline has some tips on helping your children stay safe online:
- Educate yourself about some of the online technologies available to your child - such as Facebook, Messenger, chat rooms, social networking sites, and blogs
- Be sure the Internet is available in a public area of the home, rather than allowing children to access it from their bedroom or behind a closed door
- Make it clear it's okay for them to confide in you if something happens (for instance, if they're approached by a stranger who makes them feel uncomfortable) and this won't result in their Internet privileges suddenly being revoked or limited. Make it clear it's not their fault
- Implement reliable security software on your family PC that tracks and logs which websites are visited, allows you to allocate specific timeframes for Internet usage, and blocks unsuitable content
- Use the Internet alongside your child and show you're interested
- Educate children that the ‘facts’ they find online might not be genuine. Let them know that this can also apply to the new 'friends' they meet online - they might not always be who they say they are.
We will be posting tips about cybersafety all week on the blog. Stay tuned!
If kids want to talk to someone they can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or use email or web counselling services. No issue is too big or small.
Parents can visit the Hot Topics section on the Kids Helpline website for more tips on cybersafety.
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