Last Friday, I visited Hawksworth Wood Primary School to learn about how to make sure that children stay safe online. I joined an informative assembly given by Google, who shared a number of useful tips.
Their top suggestions for parents are:
- Agree together when they’ll join. It’s easier to talk to your child about the right age for social media than to try to get them off it once they’ve signed up. If you think your child is too young, be prepared to explain your concerns and to listen to their reasons for wanting an account. It might involve a bit of negotiation. That doesn’t mean you don’t get to make the final decision but it’s likely to be easier to enforce if your child understands your reasons and feels they’ve been involved. Additionally, bear in mind that most social media sites have a minimum age requirement, which is often 13.
- Set some ground rules. Especially when your child first starts using social media, it’s a good idea to talk about what is and isn’t allowed. For instance, you might be happy for your child to have a Facebook account, but only want them to accept friends they know in real life.
- Know the tools. Safety tools and privacy settings are an important part of using social media responsibly. Talk to your child about how to find blocking and reporting tools and privacy settings on their favourite apps, and why it’s a good idea to use them.
- Stay involved. You don’t have to know about every new app that’s popular with teens but it’s smart to have a general sense of what your child gets up to. You probably want to know where your child goes and what they do with friends in the offline world – it’s the same thing online.
You can read more about keeping children safe at:
I enjoyed speaking to pupils about the importance of staying safe online and I will definitely be making sure that my passwords are as strong as they can be!