Here’s how to keep your child safe online.
Keeping your child safe online is an important issue and something close to every parent’s heart. We share five tips to help you ensure your child’s online safety.
From cyberbullying and sexting to cyberstalking and catfishing, social media is fraught with danger for children who may not be aware of how to use it safely. So, if left to explore the world of cyberspace without guidance, children may well get into difficulty.
Cyberbullying, in particular, is rife in schools all over South Africa – both on and off the school grounds. One of the ways to control this is for schools to put proper social media policies in place. Such policies should deal with all aspects of social media, the use of devices or mobile phones, and also list the disciplinary action to be taken when a social media offence is committed.
However, as a first line of defence, parents can protect their children by teaching them safe and responsible online behaviour. In addition, and probably most importantly, parents need to keep lines of communication open. This way, their children will feel comfortable to turn to them should they have problems online.
READ MORE: Social Media: The Dangers and the Law
Five tips to ensure your child is safe online
- Know what social media platforms your child is active on and what games your child is playing online.
- Be aware of age restrictions and read the T & Cs of each social media platform. Age restrictions are in place for a reason. Children need a certain level of emotional maturity to process the content they are exposed to.
- Ensure privacy settings are secure on each platform your child is on, and make sure you know how to install them.
- Install parental control software on all devices. There are free apps that can help you filter inappropriate content, monitor your child’s activity online and set time limits.
- Ensure that screentime is limited, this includes TV, all devices and gaming. Psychologists’ research shows that two hours per day is the appropriate amount of screentime daily.
READ MORE: The Future is Digital: Get Your Child Ready
Find out more about the dangers of social media and the legal implications here.