Tuesday 11 February is Safer Internet Day. As we’ve said before, young people deserve to be excited about their world and need to be fluent in technology and confident in its use. But at the same time we need to ensure their safety. There’s a lot we can do. Here are our recommendations:
- Have a discussion. What social media do they use? How many accounts do they have? What do they like about them? Make it a conversation, not an interrogation; you want your child to be open with you about what they do online.
- No personal details. We teach our students about how online stalkers can use personal details to blackmail, threaten or groom children. This includes posting locations with pictures or sharing personal details on account bios. Remind your child about what is and what is not OK to be shared online.
- Set their accounts to private. If an account is private, then only people your child chooses can see what they post. It’s important they know who they are talking to, that they are not talking to strangers. They may not like it, but this is where we must be firm with them for their own safety.
- Know where to get information. The Safer Internet website provides information on how to set privacy settings or how different social media apps and websites work.