Online Safety Checklist
The internet has changed all our lives, particularly the lives of our children. For parents / carers this opens up a whole new world of things to be aware of which, for many people, can all be a bit too much!
Under 5s Checklist
- START setting boundaries now – it’s never too early to do things like set limits for the amount of time they can spend on the computer.
- KEEP devices like your mobile out of reach & make sure you have passwords/PINs set up for the times you might lend them to your child.
- CHECK age ratings on apps, games, TV & films before streaming or downloading.
- EXPLAIN your technology rules to grandparents, babysitters, etc so that they stick to them when they’re looking after your child.
- SET the homepage of the family computer or tablet to an appropriate website like Cbeebies.
6 – 9s Checklist
- CREATE a user account for your child on the family computer with appropriate settings & make the most of Parental Controls & tools like Google Safe Search.
- AGREE a list of websites they’re allowed to visit & the kind of personal information they shouldn’t reveal about themselves online (like the name of their school or their address).
- DECIDE time limits for things like using the internet & playing on games consoles.
- BEAR in mind what older siblings might be showing them on the internet, mobiles, games consoles & other devices & agree some rules as a family.
- TALK to other parents about their views & don’t be pressured by your child into letting them use new technologies.
10 – 12s Checklist
- MAKE sure you’ve set some tech boundaries before they get their first mobile or games console – once they have it in their hands it can be more difficult to change the settings.
- REMIND your child to keep phones, etc well hidden to minimise the risk of theft.
- TALK to them about what they post & share online – written comments, photos & videos form part of their digital ‘footprint’ & could be seen by anyone & available online forever.
- DISCUSS the kind of things they see online – they might be looking for more information about their changing bodies & exploring relationships for example.
- HOLD the line on letting your child sign up for services like Facebook & YouTube that have a minimum age limit of 13.