Safety tips for children and parents while using the internet

An image of someone using the internetComputers are now a common feature in everyday life and in a number of homes.

Used properly they can add immeasurably to education and communication. The following guidelines are intended to ensure the safe use of computers by children and parents.

  • You and your children should avoid giving out any personal details on the internet, especially to people you do not know, i.e. your name, home address, telephone number etc. Be careful who you pass any credit card details to.

  • Warn your children never to send anyone their picture.

  • Warn your children never to arrange to meet any stranger they have met via the internet.

  • If your children use a chat room or chat line, ask them to tell you if anyone says or writes something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

  • Tell them that if they see or hear bad language or pictures on the internet, they should switch off and come and tell you.

  • Parents should make themselves familiar with the workings of the computer.

  • Consider installing safety software on your computer. Most systems have an inbuilt safety feature which you can activate.

  • Ensure your children understand the risks involved in using the internet. Discuss any problems and how they can be dealt with.

  • Everyone should be aware that those they have been communicating with may not be who they say they are and could have created an account in a false name.

Further advice and information

Can be obtained from agencies including, CEOP, National Childrens' Home, Action For Children, Internet Watch or Child Net International.