We all enjoy using the internet but concerns about online safety are a source of anxiety for many, and parents in particular may be anxious about protecting their children. If you have concerns about keeping safe online, the following safety measures can help give you peace of mind.
Get to grips with the dangers
The first step to managing anxieties about the dangers of the internet is greater understanding and awareness of the risks. To help you and your son or daughter comprehend the potential threats to children, take a look at the Thinkuknow websites created by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOPC).
These websites contain age-specific advice for children to help them stay safe online, while enjoying all that the internet has to offer.
Advice for adults
While parents are increasingly concerned about the privacy and safety of their children online, a recent Ofcom report on Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes reveals that over a quarter of adult social media users allow their personal information, such as their date of birth, to be seen by people they do not know.
One of the major risks for adult internet users is financial fraud, and posting personal details online could potentially help criminals. For this and other reasons, adults and children alike are advised to use the highest privacy settings available in Facebook and other social networking sites.
The best way to safeguard against viruses, Trojans and worms that can infect your computer and put your personal data at risk is to use antivirus software and keep it up to date.
You should also never open any email attachments from unknown senders, click on any links to unknown or untrusted URLs or download anything from websites you don’t trust 100 per cent – and make sure everyone in your family follows the same advice.
Use parental controls
Parental controls are a practical and proactive way to increase internet safety for parents of tech-savvy kids
Most internet service providers also offer free parental controls for filtering web content and monitoring your child’s online activity, and additional controls can be put in place on your child’s favourite websites.
Set up Google SafeSearch to filter the content that is included in your child’s Google searches and Safety Mode for YouTube.
The majority of computer operating systems, TVs, mobile phones, games consoles and portable media players are also now made with built-in parental controls that can be set up to limit the amount of time or type of content a child can view.
To ensure you and your family are safe and secure online it is important to be mindful about how you are all using the internet.
If you can be open and share what you do and view online, you have a much greater chance of avoiding any dangers and instead enjoying a worry-free internet experience.