Internet use and safety
The Internet is a fantastic source of both fun and learning, and you needn't be frightened of your child using it if you follow some simple rules.
Always sit with young children when they use the Internet.
There are plenty of safe places for children to play and learn on the web (like the CBeebies website!), get to know them and maybe save these as short-cuts in your favourites folder.
You can adjust browser settings and filters to protect children from unsuitable sites, The UK Safer Internet Centre has a guide to doing this through your internet service provider.
If you have older children who want to explore on their own, it is a good idea to keep the computer in a family room or a place you share. Talk to your child about how to stay safe and let them know they can speak to you if they find themselves in any sort of trouble. Thinkuknow - Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre has some useful advice and ideas on this.
Social networking sites aimed at grown-ups, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, are not suitable for children. The suggested minimum age for most social networking sites is 13. YouTube has a ‘Safety Mode’ that can be easily switched on by scrolling to the bottom of the page if you suspect your child may be using it.
The way we access the internet is changing and no longer confined to desktop computers, this has meant more children than ever before going online on phones, tablets, on demand services and even games consoles.
Mobiles and Tablets:
Lots of children now use apps on smartphones and tablets. Some devices come complete with a ‘child mode’ that can prevent them from accidentally exiting the app they’re using and coming across other things accidentally. Child safety ‘locks’ are also available as downloadable apps for mobile devices.
On Demand TV:
Many children now watch TV programmes through on-demand services. BBCiplayer now has a 'Parental guidance lock’ where you can set a pin code that must be entered before watching any content that originally went out post-watershed.
More help and support for both children and grown-ups about staying safe online can be found here: