Internet Safety Checklists
Everyone uses the Internet in different ways depending on their age. Internetmatters.org has developed checklists which can help adults to keep children and young people e-safe.
Pre-school children – 0-5s More and more pre-schoolers are using their parents’ computers, smartphones or tablets to play games, use apps, and watch their favourite TV shows. There are simple things you can do to make sure they’re using the Internet safely.
Explore together – Talk about what the Internet is and explore it together so you can show them all the great fun and educational things they can do.
Put yourself in control – Install parental controls on your home broadband. Most Internet-enabled devices also allow you to set parental controls so you can manage what content your child can see and how they interact with others online.
Use passwords – Keep your devices out of reach and set passwords on all your Internet- enabled devices and don’t share them. Then you’ll know when and where your child is accessing the Internet. You can also make sure they’re not making additional purchases when they’re playing games or using apps.
Search safely – Use safe search engines such as Swiggle or Kids-search. You can save time by adding these to your ‘Favourites’. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.
Be involved – Encourage them to use devices in a communal area like the lounge or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the Internet and also share in their enjoyment.
Manage access – Set your homepage to a child-friendly site like CBeebies and create a user account for your child on the family computer or device which only allows access to sites you’ve chosen.
Help them learn through games – You can choose safe, fun and educational online games to play with your child and that you’ll be con dent about them exploring. You can nd good free of charge examples from companies like Disney Junior, Nick Jr and Fisher Price.
Set boundaries – It’s never too early to start setting boundaries. Set some rules about how long your child can spend online.
young children – 6-10
Early use of digital technology has been shown to improve language skills and promote children’s social development and creativity. But it’s not without risks.
Agree boundaries – Be clear what your child can and can’t do online – where they can use the Internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share. Agree with your child when they can have a mobile phone or tablet.
Explore together – The best way to nd out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about what they do and what sites they like to visit. If they’re happy to, ask them to show you. Talk to them about being a good friend online.
Use airplane mode – Use airplane mode on your devices when your child is using them so they can’t make any unapproved purchases or interact with anyone online without your knowledge.
Talk to siblings – It’s also a good idea to talk to any older children about what they’re doing online and what they show to younger children. Encourage them to be responsible and help keep their younger siblings safe.
Check if it’s suitable – The age ratings that come with games, apps, lms and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. For example, the minimum age limit is 13 for several social networking sites, including Facebook and Instagram, although sites aimed at under-10s like Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin also have social networking elements.
(Put yourself in control; Stay involved; Search safely – advice as for 0-5s.)