CLAREMONT COLLEGE

E-Safety Tips

E-Safety Tips

Are You Up To Speed With These E-Safety Tips?

Online safety is more important than ever. As children spend more time online, it’s important that parents and teachers help them to understand how to stay safe. So how, as a parent, can you get started? Netsafe have come up with many great online tips for parents. Here are some of these online safety tips, to help you at home. 

Set Expectations

Talk to your child about the types of behaviours you would like them to adopt when using technology. For example, how long they should spend online, what apps you would like them to use and what is appropriate content to view. This will be different depending upon the age of your child, and what you feel comfortable with. Technological options like parental controls can definitely help, but it needs to be teamed with online safety education.

Understanding What Your Child Does Online

Talk to your child about what they are using the internet for. What’s involved? Who is in their network? What information do they share? Are they using the internet to learn, to communicate and create friendships with others, to create music or videos? Really listen to what they have to say – what might seem like ‘just a game’ to you, could in fact be a way for them to connect with people who have similar interests. Keep in mind that while connecting with friends online is a good thing, there is always an inherent risk of harm. Monitor and talk to your child about their ‘friends’. 

Showing an interest in the things they do helps build your understanding of what their online world looks like and creates an environment that makes it easier to have more difficult conversations in the future. 

If you Don’t Understand it, Try it

As parents, you need to understand the technology your child uses to better understand the challenges that they may face online. Explore the websites and apps your child uses to improve your online knowledge, and take the time to read terms and conditions. You could even ask your child to show you how it works, as a way to start conversation around online safety.

Set a Good Example

How often do you use your laptop or smartphone at the dinner table? Keep meal-times for family conversations and make this time one that is device free. How many ‘angry’ posts have you published? Take a look at the way you use technology while your child is around. If you notice something that doesn’t sit right with you – change it.

Teach them the Basics

Once your knowledge of the types of websites and apps your child uses is up to scratch, teach them the basics of online safety – here’s four ideas to start with:

1. Strong passwords 

A strong password helps protect the information on your online profiles or accounts. Teach your child how to choose strong passwords, by reading how to choose a good password.

2. Information to protect online. Have a conversation about the importance of not sharing personal information online such as:

Login details and passwords;
Bank account details;
Home address;
Phone numbers;
Birthdate; or
Personal information that could be used to guess security questions for online accounts. 

You should also talk about personal details your child may be asked to share online, such as where they are now and the school they attend. Some apps allow you to share your current location with friends, or publicly.

3. Not everything is as it seems
It can seem like common knowledge to adults, but sometimes kids do not understand that people are not always who they say they are online. Talk to them about friending or communicating with people they don’t know offline. They should never friend someone online that they don’t know personally offline.

4. Digital footprint
Teach your child that they need to think about what they post online, and that what they post online leaves a ‘digital footprint’ about them.

Whilst many of these things may seem like issues that teenagers may deal with, don’t underestimate how young children may be faced with these challenges. 

Social Media

Do you know how old your child should be before they get social media accounts? The minimum sign up age for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube is 13. Be mindful that the majority of cyberbullying incidents happen though such social media sites. As a parent, be advised to proceed with care and caution.

But before they turn 13, be familiar with the safety centres that most social media organisations have for staying safe online. Start with how to block people, how to report content and how to use the privacy settings. 

Online Bullying

Teach your child what to do if they were to be targeted online, so they have the tools to deal with it if it happens. Ask them what advice they would give a friend who was experiencing online bullying. This is a good way to understand how they would deal with these kinds of situations if they were to experience it themselves. 

Make sure you also talk to your child about how you expect them to behave towards others online.

Let them know if that if it’s not acceptable offline, it’s not acceptable online. Ask your child to think about the person on the ‘other side’ of the screen. Lead by example – think about how you’re behaving towards others online.

What if Something Does Happen?

Let your child know the options that are available to them – tell them they need to talk to a trusted adult. Identify who these trusted adults might be (not just you). If they come to you, count to ten before you react. When children ask for help from adults, it is important to understand this was a big decision. If you overreact or take away technology, then you’re less likely to be the first port of call next time something happens. Focus on fixing the issue and giving your child skills for next time, not on punishing or confiscating their devices. 

For more helpful information, go to www.esafety.gov.au, www.nobullying.com,  www.bullyingnoway.gov.au or www.netsafe.org.nz

Together, with strategies put in place both at home and at school, we can help keep our kids safer online, so that they can enjoy the many benefits that come from technology.

Larissa Cameron
Deputy Principal