With the school holidays fast approaching, most children will be spending more online, using the internet to keep in touch with friends, play games and spend time on social media. We’ve collated our top tips to tips to keep children safe online during the summer months.
Setting up devices safely
Many devices and connectivity providers have their own parental control settings that can be managed remotely. Before giving your child a device, make sure that the parental control settings are correctly configurated.
For example, on the Microsoft Store, parents can add a block that requires email approval for app downloads.
It’s also possible to configure settings through device’s mobile network. Access to age-restricted content can be switched on or off by logging into the account portal, giving parents the freedom to manage their child’s content consumption remotely. You can find a full list of settings for different devices and networks here.
Encouraging digital breaks
Social media algorithms, app notifications, auto-play and streaks for logging on each day can be overwhelming for children who are trying to keep up with their friends.
Most social media now has parental control features. Most recently, in June 2022 Instagram launched parental controls in the UK, which enable parents to set a daily time limit between 15 minutes and two hours on the app, schedule break times and see any accounts a child reports and the reason why they’ve done so.
Ensuring the lines of communication remain open between parents and their children is key to responsible internet use. Encouraging your child to talk about how they use the internet and what they enjoy doing is a great way to keep updated on what content their consuming in a non-invasive way.
In the event they come across something inappropriate, or have a negative experience, they’re more likely to confide in and tell you if talking about the internet is normal.