At a time when learners are spending more time both at home and online, it’s extremely important that they do so safely.
We would like to share advice with parents and carers, including links and suggestions, so that you can keep your children safer online at home.
Setting ground rules
- Discuss and agree, as a family, how learners should be using the internet at home, with the aim of ensuring that any access is appropriate to your child’s age and ability.
- Ask your children what they think is and isn’t acceptable to do online, then add your own rules and boundaries to that list.
- Decide what information should not be revealed online, such as contact information and photos. Agree rules for making and meeting online friends.
- Set clear boundaries relating to webcams, video chat, live streaming and live voice on different devices. Even when children are talking to people they know, they can still encounter risks.
- Explore how to create strong passwords and discuss how to keep them safe, e.g. not sharing them with their friends or using the same password for several accounts.
- Try writing down “ground rules” as a visual reminder Click here for a template “family agreement”.
- Remember these are whole family rules, so consider your own use of the internet and lead by example.
- Share quality time together. Consider nominating ‘tech-free’ areas or times, such as your child’s bedroom or dinner time, where you can give each other undivided attention and share offline experiences, like reading a book together.
- Install antivirus software and secure your internet connection.
- More advice on online security can be accessed here.
- Make the most of the parental controls on your children’s internet-enabled devices and games consoles to help restrict inappropriate content. They can also help you manage how much time your child spends online.
- Do your research and select the tools which are most suitable to you, your child and the technology in your home. Find more information on parental controls at:
- Set up filters on internet search engines.
- Ensure your child understands that parental controls are in place to protect them, not restrict them. Some children will actively work around parental controls if they feel constrained without knowing why.
- Read parental guidance and safety recommendations for games, apps or websites before allowing your child to use them.
The following guides provide balanced information to help you make informed decisions:
Be aware that parental control tools and filters are not always 100% effective and you can’t rely on them alone to protect your child online.