How to keep your children safe online this summer

With the arrival of the summer holidays, many children will be spending more time online and dangers that this may hold for the unwary are well-documented.

Discuss online activities with your children on a regular basis and familiarise yourselves with the technologies that they use.

Tim Drew

Tim Drew

Warn them that not everybody they meet online means well or are who they represent themselves to be, whether encountered on social media, chatrooms, games or YouTube.

Find out and show your children how to use social network reporting buttons.

Set boundaries and rules from a young age – including how much time they can spend online for a healthy balance. Use parental control software and apps on computers, mobile devices and games consoles, privacy features on social networking sites, and the safety options on search engines.

Talk to your friends, family and other parents about how they help their children to keep safe online. Exchange tips and share experiences.

Check lower age limits of social networking and picture sharing sites to make sure your children are not using age-inappropriate sites, apps or games. Download apps only from recognised sources such as App Store and Google Play. Add your own email address when setting up accounts for your children.

Keep yourself up to date with new game fads, especially those with negative publicity because they may be violent, encourage gambling or leave the way open for grooming.

Talk to your children about online safety basics – such as not clicking on random links or attachments, good password practice, not turning off internet security programs and firewalls, and not revealing personal information such as their address, current location or private images.

The Tarring Community Forum will meet at 7pm at the West Worthing Baptist Church Centre, South Street, Tarring on Tuesday.

• For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.

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