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Five internet safety tips to keep kids and teens safe online

Five tips for your kids online safety, protect your kid online
Here are 5 great tips for building online safety for kids

What can parents and carers do to develop digital literacy skills in kids as they grow?

Internet safety is difficult, however, there are things you can do to make sure kids and teens stay safe such as talking regularly and setting parental controls. Here are five tips to help keep them safe online.

Talk regularly about their digital lives

When your child comes home from school, ask them how their day was. Maybe you’ll talk about a subject they struggle with or maybe you’ll talk about friends. Or they’ll simply say their school day was “good” and leave it at that.

Their online world is no different.

The internet and devices are a part of children’s lives, so make sure you talk about that part of their lives. Ask them to tell you about their favourite game or content creator. Talk about challenging things online and how to tackle them. Explore positive behaviours, interests and safety by talking in the car, on a family walk or when cooking dinner, to chat about their online life giving them a safe space to open up.

Play, and learn together

Children’s interests change and grow, especially with technology. When they talk about playing the latest game or using the latest app, spend time playing with your kids. Learn how it works, why they like it and what are the benefits and risks.

When you show interest and understanding in their favourite online activities, it opens up space for them to come to you if they need help down the road.

Five tips for your kids online safety, rules for kids online gaming
Make sure your kids understand the rules for gaming.

Make use of parental controls

Parental controls come in many shapes and sizes but most parents don't use them. They provide children with a safety net as they play online.
You can set parental controls on:

  • Broadband and mobile networks
  • Devices, operating systems, and consoles
  • Apps and platforms
  • App stores

Device check-up

Whether your child just got a new device or has used the same one for years, a device check-up can help them stay safe.

To complete a device check-up:

  • See if the device has the latest operating system update
  • Remove unused apps (Delete accounts associated with those apps)
  • Check location settings are turned off either for the whole device or by app

Revisit and review regularly

Revisit and review regularly

Internet safety isn't covered in just one conversation or by setting parental controls just once. As your child grows, so do their needs and interests.

Age restrictions in apps will regularly change with every birthday; contact restrictions might vary by app or new policy; new games and platforms will capture their interest. Keep Talking.

Continue having regular conversations, play and learn new things, review parental control restrictions, and find a middle-ground where there is disagreement. Listen to their concerns and set boundaries based on decisions made together. Working together on their internet safety will help them take ownership in keeping themselves safe online.

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