The Internet offers a means to share and communicate in a variety of different ways. Sure Start NHP support children in using computers as part of their learning experience; we talk to children about Internet safety, and make sure that the sites children access when they are in the Centres are safe.
Parents and carers need to be just as careful at home.
- Keep the computer/laptop in a communal area such as a family room where you can keep an eye on what your child is accessing on the internet.
- Use an appropriate filtering system to minimise opportunities to access unsuitable material. If you are in doubt about the filtering system you have in place you can contact your service provider to discuss how you can limit access to inappropriate internet sites e.g. pornography or gambling websites.
- Talk to children about what to do if they see something that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused. Show them how to turn off the monitor and emphasise that it’s not their fault if they see something upsetting. Remind children to tell a trusted adult if they see something that bothers them online.
- Be aware of any other computers, I-pads or phones your child may be using.
- Internet accounts should be in the parents name with parents having the primary screen name, controlling passwords, and using blocking and/or filtering devices.
- Let children show you what they can do online, and visit their favourite sites.
- Have children use child-friendly search engines when completing homework.
- Be aware that some internet games include chat rooms which can be like social networking sites, so it’s always best to try and look at these games before you let them play them.
- Ensure your child follows the rules for the particular site for example for Face Book your child should be over 13.
Get your child into good habits early – make it a rule that:
- Your child always checks with an adult before they use the Internet or email.
- Your child only talks online to people they know.
- Your child never tells anyone how old they are, where they live, or arranges to meet someone they don’t know.
- Your child only uses the Internet to look for things they know they are allowed to look at. If they’re not sure they should check with an adult before they search.
- Your child is polite when they talk or post things on the Internet and doesn’t say things that will upset people.
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