How can we keep our children safe online? Founder of Digital Kids and mother-of-two Aisha Tilstone offers advice about the opportunities and dangers of the digital world for our children.
How to stay safe
- Get to understand which sites and communities your children like to visit. Are the YouTube stars they love using bad language or playing games that are for older children? Install parental controls and use apps like ‘YouTube Kids’ instead of the generic YouTube to ensure the content your children view or interact with is appropriate for them.
- Explore the web and apps with your child. If they download something, make sure you do the same on your device, have a play around with it so you know what to do if your child has issues.
- Don’t let your children have a computer in their bedroom. If they do, ensure the webcam isn’t on. A child does not need to Skype or FaceTime friends they see regularly. You wouldn’t allow your child to speak to a stranger in person, so why do it online?
- Above all, have open and honest conversations with your family about Internet safety and keep checking childinternetsafety.co.uk (Digital Kids’ sister site) for more hints and tips.
Spend time using technology with your children
- Embrace your fears and do something online together like downloading Minecraft. It’s great for stimulating young and old minds, think electronic Lego and the only limit being your own imagination.
- Download free games and play them with your children. There are some awesome ones on the CBBC, Disney Junior, Nick Jnr and Moshi Monsters.
- Look into buying toys that encourage learning. Traditional board games are awesome but think of something that has that extra edge. Instead of Lego, focus on Roblox or Minecraft style toys.
- If you want to know if your child is naturally gifted with science, technology, maths or engineering skills, search for STEM Toys or educational toys. Examples include Osmo, MagFormers and Code Warriors.
- Games and toys that challenge your child whilst being fun are the future. Sharing these experiences with their friends online is also a huge part of growing up as a digital kid, so don’t be afraid if they want to film themselves building a robot or playing a game, just be aware of how to protect them from any dangers that are lurking online.
By Aisha Tilstone, Digital Kids