A recent report found that nine out of 10 children have a mobile phone by the time they’re 11 and seven out of 10 have a phone with access to the internet (86% of three and four year olds also have access to a tablet at home). Covid-19 has also seen a huge rise in homeschooling, so online access is more important than ever. Technology can be used for many positive reasons, such as home learning, talking to friends and family and playing games, but unfortunately there is a darker side.
Parents naturally want to do everything they can to keep children safe, but this can be more difficult to monitor online. Online safety is important at any age, so if you want to know more about how to keep children safe, read on for our handy guide.
Add parental controls
Setting up parental controls is one of the most popular ways to help keep children safe online, especially if they’re using a family computer or device. These controls allow parents to filter distressing or inappropriate content, set limits for screen time and control in-app purchases.
Parental controls can be set up on a computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or games console and there are also options to control more specific content, such as Netflix shows.
Anti-spam software is an effective way for schools and universities to help keep young people safe online, especially if their databases hold sensitive information about pupils. This type of software prevents spam emails from reaching inboxes, where children could fall victim to unsafe web links or attempts to glean sensitive information.
Allow space for open conversations
An open dialogue is key when it comes to online safety and it’s important to educate children about the potential risks. Use age appropriate language to start a conversation about online activity; for example asking your child what their favourite app is, or what they like to do online.
Regular, relaxed conversations can also help reassure your child and encourage them to come to you if they are worried or upset about something they’ve seen online.
Set clear boundaries
It’s important to have time boundaries when it comes to screen time, but this will also depend on how your child is spending time online. Stricter time limits won’t help as much as you might think if a child is using their total screen time to speak to strangers online or visit chat rooms. Therefore, it’s important to have a clear conversation about what is and isn’t safe online.
Ask your child to share which apps they like to use and make sure the appropriate boundaries are in place (for example, no accepting friend requests from strangers).
If you’re in need of anti-spam software for an educational establishment, get in touch with the experts at MailCleaner. Our reliable software is one of the best choices for schools and universities, as it’s capable of filtering very large networks with a high number of email addresses. Our anti-spam software helps protect your network from viruses and eliminates up to 99% of spam for a safer, tidier inbox. For more information about how we can help your school or university stay safe online, give us a call today or visit our website.