Make sure your child knows to always keep private information safe and watch what they say on the internet. People may not be who they say they are online and it’s not always possible to control who can see your child’s information.
Your child should know not to give out information like:
· their full name, photos,
· postal or email addresses
· school information
· mobile or home telephone numbers
· details of places they like to spend time
Make sure your child knows that they shouldn’t arrange to meet people that they have only met online. Even if they have been chatting with someone for a while, that person is still a stranger.
You can help keep your child’s information safe by setting privacy settings. This can restrict access to personal information and photos on things like social networking sites.
You should also encourage your child to use a nickname instead of their real name in chat rooms or on instant messaging services. To stop people accessing your child’s online accounts, encourage them to keep their passwords secret, and to change them regularly.
Get your child to block people who send offensive messages and tell them not to open unknown links and attachments. They should delete any suspicious emails or attachments as they may contain something offensive or have a virus that can cause damage to the computer.
One of the main ways children can come across inappropriate content online is through search results. Most search engines include a 'safe search' option that excludes results containing inappropriate images or key words.
You can also install parental control software to filter out harmful and inappropriate content for computers and some mobile phones and games consoles.
The final rule is that your child should come to you or a trusted adult if they are worried or unhappy about anything they see online. They should also do this if a friend, they have made online, has asked to meet them in the offline world.
If your child does experience inappropriate content online, report it to the website it appears on. UKCCIS has developed an internet safety 'one stop shop' with more information.