Keeping Our Kids Safe Online: Your Role as Mum
While keeping our children safe online is every adult’s job, when it comes to your own children, mum is the first line of defence. There are things that every mum needs to do when their children are getting online.
• Stay in touch with your children. Participate in their online experience by sitting with them and exploring the internet together. When your kids are on their own, be aware of where they go and what they do. Set guidelines and rules for communication – never exchange information with a stranger, never use your real name, keep profile settings on private so that you stay in control of who can see you, etc.
• Teach your children to take personal responsibility for themselves online. This includes teaching them to think proactively, to treat people with respect, and to be smart about how they deal with others.
• Be aware of all of the potential risks: meeting someone online who is not who they claim to be; loss of privacy through shared information, photographs, and/or videos; online bullying and fighting or threatening others; viewing or interacting with inappropriate materials; inadvertently putting people in danger; drugs and illegal substances; untruths and lies told as if truth; and peer-to-peer and file sharing activities which can result in loss of internet and even fines.
• If your children are more computer savvy than you, then protecting them whilst online may seem daunting. However, by sitting with your child and letting them teach you, you can turn online safety into a shared family affair.