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Five tips on how to keep your child safe online.

Guest Post from Deborah Preston, Norton Online Safety Advisor

Earlier this month it was Safer Internet Day, an EU initiative which aims to increase online safety, particularly for children and young people. This year, the aim of Safer Internet Day was to connect generations and to encourage families to be more open with one another about what they are doing online. With the rise of social networks, an increased availability of personal information in the cyberspace, and the ability to interact with strangers, this aim is growing in significance. Usually, when parents have ‘the chat’ with their children, it is about the birds and the bees. But discussing the risks children may face online is becoming increasingly important; research by Norton has found that over half of the children that are between the ages of 8 – 17 have suffered upsetting experiences online, but only 25% of parents realise this.

To help address this, Childnet International, a non-profit organisation that works to increase Internet safety for children has shared five tips on how you can keep your child safe online:

  1. Ask your children to tell you about the sites that they visit and what they do online.
  2. Check that they know where to go for help, where to find safety advice, how to amend their privacy settings and how to block someone on the sites that they use.
  3. Ask your children what they do to stay safe online and what tips they have for you.
  4. Encourage them to show you how you can do something better online.
  5. Think about how you as a family use the internet and whether you can change what you are doing.

In order to help parents further, this month Norton launched a new, free smartphone app which allows parents to protect their children while they are surfing the Web or exchanging messages online. Click on the link above to find out more.