Young people are spending more and more time online so it is very important for the adults in their lives to teach them how to stay safe. The Netsafe Organisation website has loads of useful information about helping our young people stay safe and manage themselves online. Below is a summary of the 10 tips Netsafe has shared on their full blog post - https://www.netsafe.org.nz/online-safety-for-parents/.
Set Expectations - Talk about age appropriate expectations around the time they spend and apps and sites they visit.
Understand what they do - Talk about what they are using the internet for, who is involved, and what information they share etc?
If you don’t understand then try it - Try the apps and sites they are using and read the terms and conditions.
Set a good example - How much time do you spend on a device? What kinds of posts do you share? Do you manage your privacy settings and security well?
Teach them the basics - Including strong passwords, protecting personal information etc.
Setting up Social Media - setup your own child’s accounts and use your own email depending on their etc.
Give them the tools they need - Check out the safety centres for sites and apps that they use, show them how to block people, report content and use the privacy settings.
Online Bullying - One in five young people in NZ have be the target of online bullying. Make sure you talk about how you expect them to behave online and what to do if they are targeted online. Lead by example and encourage them to think about the other person. Remind them that if it is not OK in person then it is not OK online.
Sharing Personal Information - Talk with your young people about the risks of sharing personal information and images and what can happen once they are created and shared.
What if something happens? - Remain calm and talk through the options such as talking with a trusted adult, school or Netsafe. Try not to over react and take away the technology otherwise they may not come to you next time. Focus on fixing the issue not punishing or removing their devices.
If you would like to know more about specific technology young people are using you can browse through this great ‘Staying Safe’ guide from Netsafe. This guide has great practical tips about how to responsibly use social media such as Facebook and Instagram.