Living in the digital age is pretty magical but it can be a really worrying time for parents, there is so much available on the internet that we don’t want our kids to see. NSPCC research found that children were as likely to find pornography accidentally, as to deliberately search for it. Innocent searches can sometimes reveal not so innocent results.
It is very important to make sure your child is monitored and appropriate parental controls are in place for using the internet. Setting these controls can often be confusing if you don’t have much knowledge yourself, that’s why NSPCC has partnered with O2 to support parents with the knowledge, skills and practical help needed to keep children safe online. And all of this is available for free, whether you’re an O2 customer or not.
It is very hard as a parent to monitor everything a child does online, I know from experience that children are very curious from a young age and will try to find answers to their questions however they can so it is so important that controls are put in place.
The things I struggle with most is Boo wanting to play on different game servers like Minecraft, I had heard so many parents saying that their kids played on different servers so I allowed her to go on some that I thought were family friendly only to find that she was receiving some pretty rude chat messages, thankfully I fielded them as they came in and it went completely over her head but I had to then stop her using these online servers and she was heartbroken about it.
She is still banned from playing anything like that online because I really don’t understand these games and how I can protect her from getting messages like that, you can turn chat off but if you want to use commands then you still see the chat. So I really need help to find out about how I can allow her to play safely online.
Here are 5 things you can do to help keep your children safe online…
1. Talk with your children about keeping safe online and make sure they know that they can talk to you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
2. Make sure your children know not to share any personal information with people they might talk to online.
3. Make sure your children know about age restrictions and only allow them to play games and apps that are suitable for their ages.
4. Make sure you set parental controls, if you don’t know how to do this then you can get parental controls advice from the NSPCC or book an appointment with an O2 Guru in store who can set up relevant controls for you.
5. Phone the free O2 & NSPCC helpline if you are unsure about anything they can help with setting up parental controls, adjusting privacy settings or advice on social networks.
Childline has seen a 60% year on year increase in counselling sessions with children left worried after seeing porn online so if you haven’t sorted out your parental controls yet make sure you do it today!!
As a UK charity almost 90% of their funding is from generous people like you, who care about the safety of children. If you’ve found this advice useful you can support the NSPCC with a donation.
After looking into all the information given to me by the NSPCC I will certainly looking in to protecting my kids more so than I already do, I know they are protected on the PC but have always been quite unsure how to set up parental controls on the iPad and iPod so that is something I will be talking to one of the O2 Gurus about very soon as well as finding out how I can allow them to play games safely online.
I’d love to hear how you go about protecting your children online and if you have any advice for me about Minecraft servers it would be much appreciated 🙂
* This is a sponsored post.