Safer Internet Day: How to Keep Our Kids Safe in the Digital World?
Today marks Safer Internet Day, an annual celebration aimed at raising awareness of the importance of having a safer and better internet for everyone, especially children and young people. It’s vital that online safety is prioritised to address issues such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, privacy breaches, and identity theft.
Virgin Media O2 has shared top tips to keep kids safe online, offering advice on how to support your children as they navigate the digital world. In today’s blog, we want to share this insight with you:
1. Be Curious, Proactive, and Sensitive:
To help keep kids safe online, check if your network has filtered and blocked websites hosting 18+ content. This ensures that anyone using a mobile device must prove they are over 18 to access age-restricted content. Once this service is set up, it ensures your children can only use their mobile devices to visit sites suitable for their age. Remember to adjust parental controls on all connected devices based on your child’s age.
2. Adjust Parental Controls:
To help keep kids safe online, check if you’re operator has filtered and blocked websites hosting 18+ content. This means anyone using a mobile device has to prove they’re over 18 to access age-restricted content. Once this service is setup it makes sure your children can only use their mobile to visit sites that are suitable for them. Remember to adjust the parental controls on all your connected devices, depending on your child’s age.
3. Use Privacy Settings:
Ensure your child is using privacy settings wherever possible. If they are 11 or older, involve them in setting up these settings. For younger children, set up privacy settings for them. When your child is old enough to use social networking sites (minimum age limit is 13 for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok), make sure their privacy settings are high. Encourage them to regularly change passwords and never share personal details like phone numbers, addresses, or school information online. Check that safety and privacy settings are activated on their mobile devices as well.
4. Set Boundaries
It’s never too early to start setting rules about when and for how long your child can use devices. Encourage children under 12 to use devices in shared spaces like the lounge or kitchen so you can monitor their activities. If needed, set hard screen time limits on devices using platforms such as Microsoft Family Safety, Google Family Link, and Apple Screen Time.
For children aged 14 and over, focus on equipping them with tools to self-regulate their internet use. Have regular chats about how much time they spend online and how it affects their well-being. Ensure they are involved in non-screen-based activities too. Remember, it’s essential to lead by example. If you set boundaries such as no phones during mealtimes, make sure everyone in the family, including adults, sticks to them.
Full Virgin Media O2 article is available to read here: https://www.o2.co.uk/inspiration/the-drop/safer-internet-day-2023