Advice for parents and carers
For many of today's young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. As a parent or carer it's important to understand what your child is doing online.
Although, not a 100% safe, one way of setting appropriate boundaries online for your child is by setting parental controls on devices that link to the internet. Each internet service provider will be able to show you how to set your controls.
Your child may be accessing the internet from your neighbours wifi connection which would affect whether your safety settings are being applied.
Be involved in your child’s online life
For many of today’s young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the internet to socialise and grow, they require your guidance in the same way you support them offline. Talk to your child about what they’re doing online and if they know you understand they are more likely to approach you incase they need support. View some tips on how to discuss tricky issues with your child.
Just as you do in the ‘real world’, it is important to set boundaries when your child is using the internet. Technology is constantly evolving so it is important to continuously review and discuss boundaries with your child during this time. Think about what they might see, share, talk to and how much time they spend online. Emphasise to your child that not everyone is who they say they are and make sure that they know to never meet up with someone they only know online without talking to a trusted adult.
Talk to your child about webcams
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has recently warned of a concerning increase in sex offending on the internet involving webcams. A number of cases have recently been investigated where sex offenders have used extortion to force young people to perform sexual acts on a webcam. It is important to control your child’s usage of webcams and to explain about the dangers of them.