Summer 2018 has got off to a great start with all the warm and sunny weather so far, and with only a few days until the school term ends, hopefully it’ll last well into the school holidays.
The long days home from school may mean that children spend more time online over the summer and we are supporting Get Safe Online’s campaign to make sure they remain safe, whether they are on social media, playing games or watching videos. There is a real risk of children accessing inappropriate content via websites and streaming, sharing too much personal information, believing fake news and thinking everyone they meet online is a friend. Here are our top tips for parents, guardians and grandparents to protect their children this summer and beyond:
- Set boundaries and rules from a young age including how much time they can spend online for a healthy balance.
- Set an example by using your own mobile devices responsibly and at the right time.
- Be aware of the rise in children’s live streaming of themselves and the dangers associated with it. There is also a danger of children randomly being exposed to inappropriate content on video streaming sites such as YouTube.
- Talk to your children about online safety basics such as not clicking on random links or attachments, good password practice, not turning off internet security programs/apps and firewalls and not revealing personal information such as their address, current location or private images.
- Use parental control software and apps on computers, mobile devices and games consoles, privacy features on social networking sites, and the safety options on search engines.
- Talk regularly with your children about their and your online lives. Get them to show you what they’re doing and try some of the technologies out for yourself. Show you understand how important technology is to them and talk about the benefits. Don’t shy away from discussing responsible behaviour, and talk about bullying and adult content in the appropriate language for their age.
For more information, visit the Get Safe website or the page for children and information for parents on our website.
Sean O’Neil Cyber Security Advisor, Bedfordshire Police