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Our children live in a different world. Business studies > Maslow > basic needs at the bottom.
The ‘teenager’s hierarchy of needs’.
Don’t be afraid, technology affords us some fantastic parenting opportunities too!
Research by ExecuNet showed that 77% of recruiters said they used search engines to find background data on candidates. 35% admitted they eliminated a candidate because of what they found online. (2011) The same survey quizzed job candidates, too. It found that 82% expected recruiters to check out their names on a search engine, yet only 33% bothered to search for information on themselves, to see what their prospective employer might find out.
Be involved in your child’s online life. For many of today’s young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the internet to socialise and grow and, just as you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too. Talk to them about what they’re doing, if they know you understand they are more likely to approach you if they need support.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to continue to discuss boundaries so that they evolve as your child’s use of technology does.
Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Your child will use all sorts of devices and gadgets; make sure you’re aware of which ones can connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection or a neighbour’s Wifi? This will affect whether your safety settings are being applied.
Consider the use of parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Find your service provider and learn how to set your controls
Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are. Make sure your child knows never to meet up with someone they only know online. People might not always be who they say they are. Make sure your child understands that they should never meet up with anyone they only know online without taking a trusted adult with them.
Know what to do if something goes wrong. Just as in the offline world, you want to help your child when they need it. Therefore, it is important to know when and how to report any problem.
Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). These are the organisations that pipe the internet to your home (like Virgin Media, Talk Talk, Sky and BT). All of the major ISP’s provide parental control packages. These can allow you to apply controls across all of the devices that access the internet through your home connection – such as laptops or games consoles. Devices that connect to the internet. Most computers, mobiles and games consoles now come with parental controls that can be applied. For example, within Windows and the Mac operating systems, there are parental controls that can be set for individual devices. Software. There are a wide range of packages available to buy or sometimes download for free – always look for reputable companies and check out reviews online
Filtering – content to restrict access to particular sites, such as pornographic websites. Time limits – restrict the amount of time your child can be online, or set periods of time where your child can access certain sites. Monitoring – where you are informed of certain sites that your child is attempting to gain access to. Reporting – where you are provided with information about what sites your child has used.
Parental controls will never make the internet 100% ‘safe’. They should not be used as a substitute for communicating safety messages to your child. Make sure that you talk to your child about their behaviour online and remember, your home is not the only place they will be accessing the internet! (look at navigation bar). Never ask your children to set these settings, if you are not confident in putting these in place ask a family friend or the shop assistant to help.
It couldn’t be easier to share pictures and videos online. With cameras on every mobile phone, a picture can be posted and shared in an instant. When you can share at the click of a button, there is no time to think whether it is the right thing to do. It’s easy to make mistakes. Tell your child not to share anything online that they would be embarrassed to show you. Young people might be tempted to share pictures of a sexual nature of themselves – this might be with people they trust, like a boyfriend or girlfriend; however, this can easily get out of hand.
Personal information The more information you share about yourself, the easier it is for a stranger to build a picture about you. You should discuss what information your child actually needs to share. If your child is using social networks, like Facebook, make sure you go through the privacy settings with them so they can control what they share, and with whom.
Location Social networking sites increasingly allow you to share your exact location with your friends through your mobile phone. Services like ‘Facebook Places’ allow you to ‘tag’ yourself – which pinpoints you on a map and tells your friends where you are. There are obvious risks with young people sharing this type of information. We recommend that people under 18 turn off this function on any social networks or services that they use.
Instant messaging (IM) is instant text chat between two or more people. This tends to be private un-moderated chat. You can build a list of ‘friends’ or ‘buddies’ that you can chat to, they can see when you are online and start conversations with you. It is important for young people to know how to manage this list, for example, blocking contacts they don’t want to talk to. Windows Live Messenger is a popular IM service; however, many sites, including Facebook, provide instant messaging.
Webcams let you see the person you’re talking to while you’re chatting. Services like Skype are very popular and free. This can be a great way for young people to chat to each other; however, it is important to remember that what appears on webcam can be recorded and shared with other people in ways that you wouldn’t want. Young people should be aware that it is never a good idea to reveal too much of themselves on webcam; this includes engaging in sexual behaviour. Hackers are able to gain access to a victim's computers using a piece of malicious software (malware) called a Remote-Access Trojan (Rat) which infects the victim's computer or device with a virus. These are sometimes referred to more generally as remote access tools. Many of these 'Rats' now include a function allowing a hacker to access the victim's webcam without their knowledge.
A chat room is a forum where groups of people meet to chat online – this can sometimes be about a particular topic, or can be friends meeting to discuss something. Sometimes chat rooms are moderated; this means that someone, or a computer program, is looking out for inappropriate language or behaviour. Some chat rooms, even those aimed at young people, do contain a lot of sexual chat and online flirting. It is important for young people not to engage in sexual chat with people they do not know, or reveal too much about themselves.
These sites connect individuals at random with strangers to enable them to chat, either by text or webcam. The random element of connecting you with someone anywhere in the world is the main appeal of these sites. This type of site is often unmoderated and frequently used for chat and actions of a highly sexual and inappropriate nature which can be harmful to young people. We would recommend restricting access to any site which randomly connects users to strangers.
Offer reassurance and support. Your child may be in need of emotional support or feel like they have nowhere to turn. It is rare that cyberbullying is only taking place online and is often someone your child knows through school or a group they attend. Their school should have policies and procedures for dealing with cyberbullying. Your child could visit CyberMentors. This is an online counselling service with a difference; the counsellors are also children and young people. Tell your child that if they are being bullied to always keep the evidence. Whether it’s a text message or email, tell them not to reply to the bully or delete the comments. Ask your child if they know the bully or where the messages are coming from. Often it is someone within the school environment and can be dealt with quickly and effectively with assistance from the school. Block the bullies. If someone is bullying your child on a social networking or chat site encourage them to block or delete the individual so that they can’t be contacted by them anymore. Report any bullying content to the website it’s hosted on. If content has been posted, for example a video or image, which is upsetting your child you should report it to the website, for example, Facebook. Learn how you would report content on sites like Facebook and YouTube; every site is different. Contacting the website is the only way to get the offensive content removed, unless it is illegal. In cases of illegal content for example indecent images or videos of young people under 18, contact your local police or report it to CEOP.
Parental controls can be used to restrict the amount of time spent playing games, limit internet access and they allow control of access to age appropriate content.
Darkened rooms, where games are played on old CRT (cathode ray tube) TV sets, have been known to trigger epilepsy issues amongst some children.
Parental settings – some mobile phone service providers allow you to set certain controls over your child’s phone. This can include blocking access to certain sites and monitoring your child’s activities. When buying a mobile, speak to the sales representative to find out more about what services they offer. You can find out more about what controls are available by looking at ‘parents’ sections online; here are a few to get you started:
Loopholes Many phones can access the internet through Wifi, which could be available on your street and picked up for free. Accessing someone else’s Wifi may mean that your safety settings no longer apply.
Set a pin: Without a password, others may use your child’s phone. This could enable them to access personal information, online accounts or run up expensive bills.
Set Boundaries: You can set rules with them about where it is used and how long for. For example, if you don’t want your child to use their mobile at night, why not only charge it overnight in the living room?
Discuss sharing - such as sharing their location.
Costs - As well as bills, costs can be run up through downloading apps, music or leaving data-roaming on abroad. Your child should be made aware of the financial responsibility that comes with owning a phone. There are different ways to manage costs, such having a contract or pay-as-you-go deals; make sure you discuss this in the shop. Younger children –disable in app purchases.
Blocking - Every phone has a unique ‘IMEI’ number; make sure you write this down so if the phone is stolen, the police can identify the phone if they find it. You can get this by dialling *#06#.
Be involved in your child’s online life.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online.
Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the
Know what connects to the internet and how.
Consider the use of parental controls on devices that link
to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games
consoles and mobile phones.
Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are.
Know what to do if something goes wrong.
Type of Control
• Time limits
Type of Service
• Internet Service Providers (ISP’s).
• Devices that connect to the internet.
How to set ISP
• Pictures & Videos (Facebook, Twitter,
• Personal information
It’s not about the behaviour, it’s about the
28% of 11 – to 16 year olds have been deliberately targeted, threatened or
humiliated by an individual or group through the use of mobile phone or the
Beatbullying, Virtual Violence II.
• Offer reassurance and support.
• Tell your child that if they are being bullied to always keep the
• Block the bullies.
• Report any bullying content to the website it’s hosted on.
PEGI – age ratings for games
Engage: Find out what your children are playing and take an interest.
Better still, join in the fun and play alongside them yourself!
Lighten up: Games should be played in well-lit rooms.
Take breaks: Encourage your children to take regular breaks – at least
five minutes every 45-60 minutes as a rule of thumb.
Use parental controls: In addition to clear age rating symbols and
descriptor icons, all of today’s consoles offer parental controls.
More information available at the ask about games site.
Using a Phone
• Parental settings
• Understand what your child’s phone can do
• Set a pin code on your child’s phone
• Set boundaries and monitor usage
• Discuss what they can share
• Discuss and monitor costs
• Keep their mobile number private
• Be prepared in case the phone is lost or stolen
CEOP – for reporting
Think u Know – advice for
parents and children
Parents’ guide to
Parents’ guide to gaming
Parents’ guide to Internet
‘So You Got Naked Online’ –
Advice about dealing with the
consequences of sexting.
The parents’ guide to dealing
The ‘Accidental Outlaw’ test –
do you know if you’re
breaking the law online?
Horrible histories guide to
Internet privacy settings.
The digital universe of your
Internet provider parental
Is Instagram OK for kids? http://internet-safety.yoursphere.com/2012/02/instagram-is-it-okay-for-kids-
Parent guide to Snapchat http://www.connectsafely.org/wp-content/uploads/snapchat_guide.pdf