With the world’s student population affected by school closures, many have no choice but to turn to their devices for learning and interaction with friends. Previous household rules around screen time are likely to have gone out the window. But with this increased screen time, now more than ever, how can parents ensure that their children are being safe online and making sensible decisions? Below are some tips for parents on how to get cyber safe.

Talk about online safety and get involved

  • Have conversations about online safety. Be honest and build trust, explain why its important to be careful while online.
  • Ask your child questions about what they do online, such as what sites they visit and who they talk to.
  • Monitor your child’s internet activity and social media accounts.
  • Make use of the internet as a family activity to teach your child appropriate online behavior.
  • Practice what you preach, set a good example with your own online presence.

Set some ground rules

  • Set boundaries for how long your child can spend online and what they can do.
  • Adjust parental controls to suit your child’s age and maturity.
  • Keep computers in a common area and monitor your child’s activity.
  • Discuss with your child which websites are appropriate for their age group.
  • Communicate what is acceptable online behavior to establish good and bad sharing practices.
  • Remind your child that strangers online may not always be who they appear to be.
  • Don’t allow your child unsupervised access to any device containing your personal or financial information.

What can you do?

You don’t have to be a cyber pro to protect your computer and network. Many new devices, computers, and Wi-Fi routers come with built-in parental controls that are easy to use, but are often overlooked during the initial setup. These controls allow you to set access times, monitor internet activity and block website categories.

  • Parental controls
  • Scheduled internet time
  • Logging and monitoring
  • Antivirus