Christmas is right around the corner now, with parents and carers buying some of the latest tech for their children. But have you checked out the safety features on these to make your children as safe as possible?
The UK Safer Internet Centre has lots of advice for parents and carers to help you get to grips with the safety features available on the most popular gadgets this Christmas.
Smartphones, tablets and games consoles
Their parents’ guide to technology gives useful and practical advice when buying a new smartphone, games console, tablet, connected TV or other internet-connected device. This guide looks at some of the most frequently asked questions about devices as well as looking at the safety features that are available on these devices.
One idea is to have a look at the device before you hand it over to your child on Christmas day and take the time to install the parental controls that you want onto the device. This way you know how the device works and don’t have to worry about finding time to install parental controls once your child already has access to the device.
Setting Up Parental Controls On Your Home Internet
It’s also important to look at what parental controls you have set up on your home internet, as this will help reduce the chances of children stumbling across something inappropriate while browsing the web. Your internet provider will offer free parental controls that you may find useful. You can read the Safer Internet Centre’s full guide to parental controls offered by home internet providers here.
Internet Matters also provides a step by step guide to installing parental controls on some of the most popular tech items.
Internet Connected Toys
Internet connected toys may also be on top of your child’s wishlist and they can offer fun and interactivity, but also can present new risks and challenges. It’s important therefore that you ask questions about the toy in the shop before you make a purchase.
One of the questions you may want to think about before you buy your child an Internet Connected Toy is what information the toy collects. Does it require location services to work or will you be able to turn this feature off? Will the toy take pictures of your child? And it’s also important to know where the information the toy collects will be stored. It’s always worth asking about what privacy controls and safety settings you can use to make the device work for your family.
Whatever presents you bought for your children this Christmas, one of the most important things you can do is have an open conversation with your child about technology and the internet. By maintaining an open dialogue with your child and encouraging them to talk to you about their internet use you can help your children access the amazing resources the internet has to offer whilst keeping them safe online. These conversation starters are a great ways to talk about the internet with your children. Maybe use storylines in TV series as starting points to open up the discussion around online safety.
Complete the new 2016 Cyber Crime survey, so we can see the full scope of Cyber Crime in Warwickshire, and across West Mercia and the West Midlands – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RegionalCyber16
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety. Their website offers advice on how you can protect yourself, your computers and devices, and your business against the likes of fraud, identity theft, viruses and other potential online problems.
ThinkUKnow is a national website which offers tailored advice to young people about online safety concerns. There is also a section on there if you are a parent/carer or a teacher who is concerned about a young person’s safety online.