Child safety online

 

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Child safety online

A child and adult spend some quality time together playing games on their tablet

What's coming up

Children have grown up with computer technologies that many of us find baffling. But their technical ability doesn't compensate for a lack of life experience, so it's important to teach your kids the boundaries of what they can and can't do online.

In this activity, you'll learn about some of the risks children may face online and some simple tips on how to help them stay safe.

Start activity

Risks to children's safety online

Children may be very good at using computers, but their technical skill does not mean they are safe from online threats.

Which of the following are risks to children online?

Getting lower school grades

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Incorrect

Bullying and harassment

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Correct

Viewing explicit materials

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Correct

A computer surrounded by icons of things you can do on the internet, with a padlock over the screen

Virtual Global Taskforce

Children can get themselves into dangerous situations online by accident.

If they tell you about anything you consider serious, you can report it to the Virtual Global Taskforce. This is made up of police forces from around the world which are working together to fight online child abuse.

Chat rooms

Chat rooms can be a great way to meet people and keep in touch but there are risks, especially to young people.

Unfortunately, you don't always know if the person your child is talking to is who they say they are. Don't let your child meet up with anyone from a chat room unless they're accompanied by an adult.

You should encourage your child to tell you if anything disturbing is said or done online. You can report any incidents to the chat room providers.

Live chat function is displayed on a smartphone
Grandparents enjoy some time in the garden using a tablet with their granddaughter

User accounts

There are ways to limit your child's access to the internet without limiting your own. If everybody who uses a computer has their own user account (user name and password), you can allow things on some accounts but stop them on others.

We'll now go through the steps needed to access the user account settings. We'll demonstrate using Windows 7 but there are similar options for whichever device you're using.

Windows icon

First, you would need to select the Windows icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.

A Windows 7 desktop highlighting the windows icon in the bottom left of the screen
A Windows 7 desktop with the menu open and the settings icon selected

Windows menu

Then you would need to select the Settings icon.

Settings panel

Next, you would select User Accounts.

A Windows 7 desktop with the settings panel open and the Accounts icon selected
An example of a user account for John Citizen

User accounts

In the User Accounts section you can set up new accounts, as well as changing what people who already have accounts can do.

Blocking offensive content

Setting user accounts on your computer, tablet or mobile phone is one way to protect your children or grandchildren from what they might see online, but it's not the only step to think about.

A computer screen with a warning icon on it
Icons representing online services like Netflix and ABC iview

Online services

Many online services, like Netflix or ABC iview, have their own parental controls that allow you control what people in your household can and can't watch.

Internet connection

The company you get your internet connection from, or your mobile phone company if you use mobile internet, will have settings to help you control what your children can see online.

An icon for the internet and an icon for settings
An example of different devices all showing the same content on their screen

Devices

Some devices have a ‘settings' feature that allows you to block inappropriate content. You can also install software that will help you control access to specific websites.

Talking about the internet

Despite all the options for blocking offensive content, you may not be able to protect your children from it all the time. Talking with your children about the dangers they could face online can be a good way to help them understand it.

They'll hear about online safety at school too, ask them to explain it to you and how they can apply what they've learnt.

Grandparents and grandchild all sit together enjoying what they are watching on their tablet
A happy child learns about technology

Congratulations!

Well done, you've come to the end of the Child safety online activity.

You've found out that the internet is something the whole family can enjoy together and that there are things you can do to keep your family safe online.

Coming up next, if you have registered and are logged into the Be Connected website, you'll now be able to take a short quiz to finish the course. If you're not registered, you are now at the end of the course.