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09 February 2021

The internet is a place that we all rely on day by day, and this has increased significantly over the last year due to COVID-19. It’s a great resource which enables adults and children to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices.

How does the internet impact children?

Children are growing up surrounded by technology, with phones, tablets and almost everything now connected to the internet. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge.

Each year, Safer Internet Day is the biggest celebration of online safety in the UK. It celebrates the amazing range of information and opportunities online, and its potential to inform, connect and inspire us, whilst also looking at how young people can separate fact from fiction. The aim of this campaign is to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.

How can you support your child with staying safe online?

It is really important to talk to children regularly about staying safe online. Here are some tips from our very own Information Security team:

  • Talk together - communication is the key to identifying online misinformation.
  • Set an example - show your child how you question and evaluate online content.
  • Think before you share - fact-check and reflect before sharing content, posts or pictures.
  • Check in with your child - how does misleading information they see online make them feel?
  • Teach them - what to trust and how to check content. Always be kind!
  • Seek help and support - ask other parents how they address misleading online content.

If you are unsure where to begin, these conversation starters shared by The UK Safer Internet Centre may help.

Threats that could also affect your child and how to prevent them

  • Unwanted attention - check out this guide on setting parental controls on devices, to help kids play and connect online more safely.
  • Fake news, cyberbullying and excessive screen time - this is a great guide on how to deal with these different situations.
  • Phishing - A targeted email that falsely claims to be from a legitimate organisation, which will try to gather personal information using deceptive emails and websites. The National Cyber Security centre shares some great advice on how to spot the signs of phishing.

Stay safe and take care. Let’s all work together to make the internet a safer place!