The internet can be a wonderful playground and classroom for kids when everything goes well. But, it is not without risks
The internet can be a wonderful playground and classroom for kids when everything goes well. But it is not without risks.
After seven secondary schools in Luxembourg introduced tablets as learning tools for 800 students, the nice people at online education platform Bee-Secure published parental guidelines in French and German to help provide a safety net for young users. Delano summarises key points in English, adding a few tips we picked up online.
When setting ground rules on use and screen time, remember to lead by example and respect these rules yourself.
Talk to your child about using the internet safely: remind them never to give away their full name, address or telephone number without your permission and to think carefully before sharing a photo online.
Explain the dangers and risks of the internet: viruses, hacking, phishing, cyber grooming.
Speak regularly to your child about the internet, encourage them to show you what they like or find strange. Try out the games or apps your child uses.
Talk about fake news and hate speech and discuss with your child what is the best way to react.
Making the device safe:
Buy a protective pouch or case. We all know how fragile phones and tablets can be even in the safest hands.
If using a second-hand tablet or phone, restore its factory settings and delete any data it may contain.
Set the parameters to child use. With iOS devices, you can select by age and adapt the configuration under parental controls. On Android devices, you can select a limited profile. You can also set parental controls on the Play-Store or purchase apps giving you, as a parent, more control over what your child does online.
Remember to configure the Play-Store in a way that limits access to downloads.
Install a special, kids-friendly search engine. You can make this the start-up page for browsing.