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What are the top 10 tips for online safety?

Children’s internet use is at record high levels. On average, 5 to 15 year olds spend 15 hours a week online. Access to the internet is at an all time high, with almost 50% of 5 to 15 year olds have their own tablet.

But with the knowledge and social benefits that increased technology promotes, it also carries increased risk. This blog post is the top 10 tips for staying safe online.

Why is online safety important?

There are a number of different online safety risks. Children and teens may find inappropriate content on the internet, such as obscene language. There is also the possibility of cyberbullying or cyber-harassment. There are also other risks to note:

Phishing: This is a type of scam where you can be tricked into revealing personal information. It often involves email, an instant message or a website which has been designed to look like a legitimate company.

Piracy: This refers to illegally sharing copyrighted materials, such as TV shows, music and software. Though this may seem innocent to children, the penalties can be high.

Cyber-stalking: This refers to any kind of harassment or threatening behaviour that occurs online. It can take place through text messaging, email or social media.

Malware: This is malicious software designed to damage your computer or steal your personal information. Malware can infct the computer from an email attachment.

Cyberbullying: Bullying that occurs online is called cyberbullying. The person who is doing the cyberbullying may be the same age of the victim or could be older. If the perpetrator is an adult, it is generally referred to as cyber-stalking or cyber-harassment.

Obscenity: There are a number of things on the internet which you may wish your child to see. This could include vulgar language and violent or disturbing content.

Online predators: Sometimes information shared online could be used by online predators. For teenagers and young people this may include things that can cause damage to their reputation or may harm their prospects later in life.

Top 10 tips for online safety

Here are 10 tips to help you and your child stay safe online.

Tip 1: Start a conversation

By starting a conversation with your children, they can be more receptive and engaged. So, if the child identifies a problem, they are more likely to report it.

Tip 2: Ask your children for support online

By interacting with your child on internet-based issues, they are more likely to speak to you about any issues they may face online.

Tip 3: Use parental controls

By installing parental controlling of your home broadband, you can set accounts to be password-protected so that younger children can’t access these by accident.

Tip 4: Be a good listener

By being sensitive and encouraging when your child shares experiences with you it will make them feel more relaxed and comfortable disclosing information.

Tip 5: Be careful what you share online

This applies to both the parent and the child. By being careful about sharing information such as telephone number and email address to secure sources, reduces your risk of being harmed online.

Tip 6: Tell them not to cyberbully

It is important to teach kids to be friendly to others online. It is worth stressing that you cannot see the reaction of someone behind a computer or phone, and that any nasty comment can have consequences.

Tip 7: Encourage the use of secure and legal sites

It is important to encourage children to use proper channels to avoid the threat of malware and potential penalties when downloading items such as music and games.

Tip 8: Encourage them to check with you before downloading any programmes

A key strategy to preventing viruses would be to check with you before any downloads are made. That way you can check the source and minimise the risk of viruses affecting your computer, tablet or phone.

Tip 9: Stay neutral on issues being discussed

If your child talks about an issue with you, refrain from judging them. By staying neutral on the issue you can listen to what they say and advise without causing offense.

Tip 10: Use age ratings

Age ratings are given to games, apps, films and social media to determine whether they are suitable. It is important that these are adhered to, as they have been put in place for the child’s safety.

How can EDArcade help with online safety

EDArcade has more than 100 educational games, with many aimed at improving online safety for young people.

Cyber Surfer features positive and negative phrases, and they must choose whether to bin them or treasure them. The aim of the game is to treasure the positive thoughts and bin negative thoughts (which can feature slang words that can often go overlooked when bullying occurs). 

In Infection, the player must show fast computer skills to protect their computer from viruses and malware. It requires quick thing as safe-looking files may glitch into viruses.

For more information on EDArcade click here.