Keeping your kids safe in cyberspace
Trolls may be lurking around every corner to ruin your child’s experience of the internet. Here is a guide to avoiding danger.
about the type of things they see online and the advice they would give to a friend facing online challenges,’’ says Martin Cocker, NetSafe’s Chief Executive Officer. ‘‘Kids often find it easier to discuss things in the third person and this is a good way to understand what they do and how they behave online. We have more parenting tips at www.netsafe.org.nz’’.
Don’t be Big Brother and dictate everything your kids do; teach them how to use technology safely and respectfully. Engage them in open and kind conversation about what they do online, in a way that doesn’t make them feel like they’re in trouble. And if you don’t understand much about social media yourself, learn. (And Neighbourly.co.nz is a safe and easy way to start!)
It’s not just about how they deal with other people approaching them online though; talk to them about how they treat others. Programmes like Attitude’s Connected, developed by Vodafone and The Parenting Place, teach Kiwi youth to be respectful to other people when they’re using technology.
Most people own smartphones these days. The internet is instantly accessible, and therefore kids are increasingly susceptible to stumbling across images they shouldn’t or being subjected to cyberbullying. The more time we take to understand what our children are doing online, the safer our families will be. And that’s got to be a good thing for our neighbourhood too.
The internet is a wonderful thing. But it can also be very dangerous.