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Tuesday 6th February is Safer Internet Day 2024, an event promoting safe and positive internet use for children and young people across the UK.
As a responsible Scottish broadband supplier, we want to do all we can to support our communities. So, to mark this occasion, we’ve outlined the top 5 ways we keep our own children and teens safe online. We hope you’ll find them useful:
Try to encourage open and honest conversations about their experiences online, and make sure they feel they can always come to you with a problem, concern or question.
This also includes talking about potential risks, from financial scams to cyberbullying and online predators. Each of these things can be discussed in an age-appropriate way and the earlier the conversation begins, the better.
Try to encourage internet use in shared areas of the home, making it easier to monitor and casually discuss content than if your young people are squirrelled away in their bedrooms. (Granted, this is harder with teens!)
Encourage critical thinking
‘Question everything’ is a good rule to live by online, whether that’s distinguishing between reliable and unreliable sources, watching out for scams, responding to requests for personal information or even making new online friendships. It’s important that they know how and when to report issues and involve adults where necessary.
Teach good online behaviour
It’s important to teach our children to treat others with the same kindness and respect online as we do in person. There’s often a feeling of anonymity online that allows people to behave differently than they might in real life, and this also brings us to the point of digital footprints – nobody wants regrettable pictures, posts or comments stuck online forever more.
Use parental controls
Parental controls can come from your service provider, internet browsers or directly on individual devices. Be sure to use them and keep checking they’re in place, also checking their browsing history when you can.
Keep an eye on the apps and websites your young people are using, and make sure that all the privacy settings are in place. It’s also a good opportunity to make sure they understand the importance of keeping their private information private.
Technology updates constantly, so do your best to stay informed on the latest online trends and social media platforms and any potential risks involved. It’ll be easier to discuss their online world with them if they feel you understand it, but importantly it’ll also ensure you can help keep them safe.
Don’t forget that our broadband connections come with basic parental controls as standard, and by logging into the router you can block adult and malicious content as well as set basic time access profiles for your WiFi networks. If you want enhanced parental controls, our Smart WiFi+ solution is perfect for that extra peace of mind.
The internet is an incredible source of community, information and entertainment, and these controls combined with building trust and having ongoing open conversations are key to keeping our young people safe online.
If you’re looking for more information and tools to help, check out the Safer Internet site here.