Safer Internet Day 2020
Safer Internet Day 2020 is being celebrated around the world on Tuesday 11th February 2020. The theme of Safer Internet Day 2020 is, ‘Safer Internet Day: Together for a better internet.’
During registration time, your son/daughter will be considering how young people explore, express and manage their online identity, and how the internet shapes how they think of themselves and others, and whether young people feel free to be themselves online. They will also be looking at and discussing ways to make the internet a better place.
Childnet.com has lots of useful resources and a Parents' Guide that gives advice on how to begin these discussions, how to work together as a family to support your child online, and how to handle difficult conversations or situations. Each section has examples of questions to use to start conversations around safe and positive internet use, and key messages to share with your child.
Have a conversation
It is really important to chat with your children on an ongoing basis about staying safe online.
Not sure where to begin? These conversation starter suggestions can help.
- Ask your child to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
- Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
- Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
- Encourage them to help someone! Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
- Think about how you each use the internet. What more could you do to use the internet together? Are there activities that you can enjoy as a family?
Key messages to share with your child
However and wherever you have a conversation with your child, here are some top tips you can share to support them in staying safe online.
1. “You can always come to me if you need help.” This is the most important thing to let your child know, and a way to give them confidence to speak to you when they need support.
2. “What would you do if this happened…?” Give your child strategies to deal with upsetting experiences online.
3. “Remember that not everyone is who they say they are online.” Remind your child to always tell an adult if anyone they only know online makes them feel uncomfortable, or asks to meet up or share personal information or images. Be 'share aware' - once you share something online, you've got no control over what anyone else does with it. And it's illegal to take, share or view sexual images of under-18s, full stop
4. “Keep your personal information safe, and other people’s too.” This includes full names, contact details, and real-time locations.
5. “Be respectful to others online.” Remind them if it’s not okay offline...
6. “Think before you post.” Help your child to be aware that their online actions can have consequences for themselves and others. Be mindful of your digital footprint - it could come back to bite you!
7. “Remember to ask if it’s okay.” Asking for, and receiving permission from others online is important before sharing images, adding people into group chats, etc.
8. “Remember not everything is true online.” Help your child to be a critical thinker to find accurate information.
9. “The things other people post online might not always show what their life is really like.” Reassure your child that nobody’s life is as perfect as it may seem online, and judging yourself against others online lives isn’t a fair comparison.
10. “Recognise how going online makes you feel and take a break when you need to.” Your child may need support in doing this, such as timers and reminders.
11. Watch out for hoaxes and scams, like messages you're asked to pass on or that as you for payment details or passwords.
12.Be wary of schemes that promise easy cash in return for you receiving and transferring money, and don't be fooled by anything that glamorises gang lifestyles.
13.Watch out for loot boxes or other ways that games get you to pay - before you know it you can spend a lot on them