Know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to. Ask them to teach you to use any applications you have never used. Keeping the computer in a family room means that you can share your child’s online experience – and that they are less likely to act inappropriately (i.e. via webcam). Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends – personal information includes their messenger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family or friends. If your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone may be looking at their images and one day a future employer could! If your child receives spam/junk email and texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them.
It’s not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain – it could be a virus, or worse – an inappropriate image or film. Help your child to understand that some people lie online and therefore it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust. Always keep communication open for a child to know that it’s never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.