Many parents are worried about letting their child use the internet. In this article you will find some tips to help your child use computers and the internet safely.

Internet safety tips

Many parents are worried about letting their child use the internet. On the LearnEnglish Kids website we take child protection very seriously. Only children can comment on the kids section of the site and all comments are checked before we publish them. Below you will find some tips to help your child use computers and the internet safely.

  • Talk to your child about the sites, applications and internet-enabled devices they use. It is important that they understand that you are there to talk to and help if they see something they don’t like online or have any problems.
  • Keep your computer in a family room or an open space where you can watch what your child is doing. This way you can control who they are taking to and how long your child is on the computer. If they use mobile devices, give them limits on what they can and can’t do when they are not with you. When possible, check that they are not pushing these limits.
  • It is important that you limit the amount of time your child spends online and ask them to take regular breaks. Spending a long time on the computer may cause headaches, eyestrain or other physical problems. Their online life should be part of a varied and healthy lifestyle.
  • If you or your child finds inappropriate material in an email, advert or website, then contact your Internet Service Provider. If it is a website such as Facebook or YouTube, you can also contact them directly.
  • Make sure that your child does not give personal information such as their name, date of birth, address, or telephone number to people they don’t know and trust in the real world. These people are strangers and might not use their information in the best way. On LearnEnglish Kids we do not post comments which have personal details (such as surname or name of school) to ensure our users cannot be identified.
  • Make sure that your child does not post any photos or videos of himself/herself online that they wouldn’t be happy to show you. They can be copied and used in other spaces online without their permission.
  • Make sure that your child asks your permission before entering any competitions, clicking on links from people they don’t know or downloading any materials. Doing so may cause viruses or a hacking opportunity.
  • If your child wants to use a chatroom, make sure that you have a look at it first. It is important that you are around when your child is chatting in these spaces online, as strangers will be present and wish to make contact.
  • Teach your child not to make arrangements to meet anyone that they have met online. Ask your child to tell you immediately if somebody is asking them to meet in real life.
  • Make sure that your child keeps their internet passwords a secret. Their passwords will reveal a lot of personal information about them which they would not want other people to have.
  • Write a list of rules and guidelines for using the computer and internet. Show them to your child, and make sure your child understands why there are rules. Stick them up next to the computer as a reminder.

Further reading

Here are some useful internet safety websites. You can also download our internet safety poster.

www.kidsmart.org.uk
www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents
www.saferinternet.org.uk

Comments

 Very helpful article! I also have children, and they learn so fast. I didn't teach them how to use the computer but they seem to have figured out how to all by themselves! It is fascinating yet scary at the same time because they might be able to see content that they shouldn't, which is why we parents should have a parental block to disable any adult websites and any other inappropriate sites from being accessed.