Web wise - eight ways to help children surf safely*

As you would protect your child in the real world it’s equally important to protect them in the virtual world. Helping your child understand the risks will mean they use the internet responsibly and - most importantly – safely.

1. Never give out personal details.

Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends they do not know offline.

2. Explain to your children what information about them is personal.

Email address, mobile number, school name, sports club, arrangements for meeting up with friends and any pictures or videos of themselves, their family or friends – are all personal information. These small pieces of information can easily be pieced together to form a comprehensive insight into their lives and daily activities.

3. Think carefully about the information and pictures.

Make your children aware that once information or images are published online, anyone can change or share these details and images.

4. The internet is not a private space.

It can be easy to forget this and as a result sometimes young people engage in risky behaviour online. Advise your children not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles, or in chat rooms, that they would not want a parent or carer to see.

5. Do not believe or respond to spam.

If your child receives spam or junk email and texts, remind them never to believe their contents, reply to them or use them.

6. Do not open files from people you don’t know.

Your child won't know what they contain - it could be a virus, or worse - an inappropriate image or film.

7. Some people lie online.

Help your child to understand this and that therefore it's better to keep online friends online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.

8. Always keep communication open.

That way your child will know that it's never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.

The internet is a powerful tool. It’s fun. It’s social. It’s educational. And used correctly it will stay that way. So if you want to know more information on how children can surf in safety visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk where you’ll find everything you want to know about the internet but were afraid to ask! If you are concerned about someone’s behaviour online towards your child, you can report this to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre at www.ceop.police.uk

And if you haven’t done so already please take a minute to sign our Safety.Net petiton to keep children safe online. Thank you.

*in partnership with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre