With children as young as three using computers today, it is vitally important that e-Safety is implemented as early as possible. So, what exactly is e-Safety and why is it so important?
e-Safety is about helping children identify the potential dangers of the Internet without deterring them from using it to its best advantage. With the correct e-Safety tools at their fingertips, children will be empowered to identify any unethical behaviour and reduce the likelihood of becoming victims of cyber abuse or bullying.
Enforcing e-Safety among children and encouraging positive habits while interacting online
Here are a few guidelines parents and teachers could follow to instil e-Safety habits in children. It goes without saying that every situation is unique and therefore you need to decide what is best for you and your child, based on your circumstances.
It is recommended that children under the age of 12 should be supervised at all times whilst using the Internet. This is the best way to ensure they develop a healthy attitude to using technology in a responsible manner.
Setting ground rules
These should be followed every time they are online. These ground rules could include:
- Never post private information (name, address or telephone number) on any public platform.
- Never send photos of themselves to anyone they don’t know, and in general, avoid posting photos online until they are old enough.
- Never give out passwords to anyone, even trusted friends.
- Never interact with strangers online, let parents/teachers know if they suspect anything is amiss.
- Always ask permission before installing or downloading anything on the computer to prevent malware that could cause the system to crash or compromise the security of your data.
Ensure that your child views what is appropriate for their age
Setting parental filters is the best way to make sure that your children only get access to content that is suitable for their age. These filters block offensive sites and prevent your child from accidentally stumbling upon inappropriate sites. Please click here to find out more about how to protect your child with parental controls.
Communicate with your child
Have ongoing discussions with your child about the consequences of irresponsible online behaviour and how it can affect their life. Help them to understand that there is often a thin line between what’s acceptable and what is not and that they need to remain vigilant at all times, to ensure that they are not crossing that line.