Our son has been able to use an iPad from at least a year when he started to play basic baby apps on an old device we had. We didn’t really have to worry about his online safety too much then as we kept the device locked down to just the apps we wanted him to play.
Now that he’s five and very much into Netflix, YouTube and Minecraft, we are often known to hand him our devices when out and about. Our devices are not as locked down as his tablet, so staying safe online is a conversation we’ve had with him at home and one he’s had at Beavers and at school.
I certainly think 5 is the best age to start the conversation about staying safe online. M is like a little sponge and it’s best to make sure he practices safe activity online sooner rather than later. Pretty much every family member that M spends time with lets him use their device and we feel safer knowing he has knowledge of how to deal with certain situations.
So here are our cyber security tips to discuss with your children.
Teach them not to share their age, location (home/school) and name with anyone online.
Tell them that if they feel uncomfortable with anything they see, hear or read online they should turn off the device and tell a grown up they trust.
Encourage them to always be kind online, even if their friends are saying specific things to others. Be kind online are three great words to get them to remember.
Be open and honest when talking about online activities with your child. Your child is more likely to come to you about something that has made them uncomfortable if you have already created an open environment they feel safe in.
Discuss what photos and videos it is safe to share online and which are not appropriate for sharing. Keep your vocabulary age relevant and try not to create anxiety around the topic.
Explain that not everyone online is who they say they are. If it is someone your child knows well, they shouldn’t need to ask personal questions.
What are your best tips to ensure your children are staying safe online?
This post is part of a collaboration with ao.com
Photo by Tom Sodoge on Unsplash