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How to Keep Kids Safe Online

20 August 2018

The internet can be a dangerous place for young children, so keeping track of what they’re up to and keeping them safe online is one of the most important jobs for parents in the 21st century.

But by taking just a few proactive measures, you can make sure your little one’s internet usage is fun and safe! Check out our list of handy tips for a happier, safer environment for your kids.

Agree Boundaries

Be clear with your child as to what they can and can’t do online, where they can use the internet, how much time they spend on it and which websites they can visit.

You should also teach them which type of information never to give out online, like their address or where they go to school (unless under your supervision for things like magazine subscriptions).

Put Yourself in Control

Installing parental controls will limit what your child can do and see on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices, like tablets and smartphones.

Using controls like this, your little one can’t accidentally stumble onto websites they shouldn’t be on, like gambling sites.

Monitor their Gaming

Kids often receive abuse over headsets while gaming online. This can lead to bullying on a regular basis and lead to more difficult situations in everyday life.

If your child is playing online and speaking to others over a headset, make sure you monitor what’s being said.

It’s impossible for you to hear exactly what’s being said to your son or daughter, but be sure to listen to their reactions to comments and their conversations.

Email Accounts

If you allow your child to set up an email account, make sure that you help them do it and that you know the login details.

You can then check which websites they’ve signed up to, should you suspect they're doing something they shouldn't.

Your child might sign up to a gaming forum for example, or a social media website/app, but these are spaces where children are potentially vulnerable to cyber bullying and (in very extreme cases) grooming.

In-App Purchases

We’re sure you’ve heard stories about children racking up huge bills on their parents’ phones due to in-app purchases.

Thankfully there’s a way to turn them off on your smartphone! On an iPhone, you can switch them off under ‘Restrictions’ in the Settings app. If you have an Android phone, you can do this via the Play Store. This not only protects them from naivety and temptation, but also your bank balance!

*If you're concerned about your child's browsing habits, their behaviour online or their general mental and physical health as a result of cyber bullying, please contact your GP or speak to a member of staff at their school.

Do you have any other tips on how to keep kids safe online? Let the B&M community know on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.