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How to make internet a safer place for your children

Here are some steps to follow to make sure the internet is a safer place for your children.

The internet is essential to our lives as well as to our children’s, as they will be relying on it more and more in the future. Although cyber security is becoming stronger, the internet still features too many fake news and untrustworthy information, all added to ‘untrue’ accounts who can steal your information without you even realising.

Here are some steps you can follow to make sure the internet is a safer place for your children.

How to make internet safer for children

1. Double-check

The internet is packed with untrue information and fake photos, so one tips that can definitely make a difference is.. double-checking. As simple as it can be, it is also vital. Misleading information and fake news can lead people to believe in untrue facts and even make you share that fake content.

It is worth taking the time to compare more than one source, always going for the official websites first, especially if you’re looking for news. If you are looking at a post from an influencer then always remind yourself that they are paid to post promotional pictures so what they say or show it is not always what they believe in or at least not their real purpose (in case of promotion their posts should include a ‘Paid promotion with..’ in the description).

2. People on social media

Always remind your children that people on social media are not always who they think they are. If they receive a friend request from someone they don’t know already in real life, they should not accept it. Remind your children that the ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ is even more a vivid concept on the internet, as on social media or online in general, hackers can very easily access your personal information.

3. Report

Remind your kids that they should tell you if they are unsure about something that has happened online. Internet can be a dangerous place and they should always feel like they can ask you for advice and always report something they feel it’s wrong. On social media you can always report disturbing content and if there is an option to do so it means it’s needed, remind your children about it.

4. Talk about it

It is always very important to keep a great communication with your children, to let them know they can talk about anything to you. Keep the chat about the internet open, stressing the importance of avoiding dangerous people and content or maybe share with them new tips about how to keep the internet safe or about how to recognise fake news or fake people, it will keep the communication positive and open.

5. Sharing the right content

Sharing is not always the right thing to do if you are not a hundred per cent sure about the content you are sending to other people. Before sharing a post your children should always check the original source and consider whether it is accurate or not. It can also be thought and explained to them as a game. They can play the ‘detectives’ trying to discover whether a post is true or untrue. Unfortunately when content is fake is often even potentially harmful so it would be good to talk to them about how to report it.

Also, check the UK Safer Internet Centre and the Action for Children to know more about how to keep your children safe online.

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