Online safety

Tips and resources - a guide for parents

During COVID-19 isolation children and young people are spending more time online, either socialising and communicating with friends or accessing online content and learning resources.

It is really important to stay safe when accessing online activities. Here are some useful resources for parents to ensure their child is staying safe online.

Net Aware

Net Aware external link cover some useful tips, such as how to:

  • talk about online safety
  • turn off location settings
  • set up parental controls
  • keep kids safe gaming

They also cover how to stay safe and the risks with all the popular apps such as TikTok, Houseparty, YouTube and more.

National Online Safety

National Online Safety external link offer a host of information for parents and schools with a focus on learning online. They offer lots of helpful free guides external link, you simply need to set yourself up with a free account to access them.

Some of their useful guides are:

Helpful tips from Breeze

  • Talk to your child about how to be safe online, Net Aware has some useful tips and advice external link to look at to ensure children and young people stay safe online.
  • Understand what applications and games your child likes to use and why. Talk to them about how they communicate with their friends in an online world
  • It's a good idea to find out for yourself about the different applications children and young people engage with each other on, so that you can read about the risks and talk to them about staying safe.
  • Get involved, find out what your child wants to achieve through online activities and search for activities together. This is a new environment for your child to be engaging in activities so they will benefit from your support.
  • Once you have found an activity check with the organisation how they deliver their activity, what applications they use and what level of interaction they require from your child.
  • Be aware of age appropriate apps, social media apps are not to be used by children under the age of 13. Net Aware also cover this along with app risks.
  • Privacy controls should always be set to the highest level for whatever application they are using. You can look at the tips given on Net Aware by the o2 guru for each different application.
  • Ensure official communication channels are used, if an email address is required to log into the applications use yours, make sure all communication is done through the official organisations communication channels and not through personal accounts.
  • Organisations should ask for consent from parents (if engagement and interaction is required), just as they would for any activity in the real world.
  • Check if consent is required for any photography or filming. If they intend to use or share any content of your child during the session, even if they are recording the session remotely, or taking screenshots, they will need your consent and need to be clear where and how they intend to use the content.
  • Monitor communication to ensure that your child remains as polite and well behaved as they would in a real world environment with those delivering/ educating.
  • Encourage screen breaks – just as you would if they were wanting to game all day on electronic devices it is important for children to have screen breaks in-between sessions
  • Ensure they are in a public space within the house. Avoid situations where children are online in their bedrooms, it's better to have them somewhere within earshot of you.  When cameras are in use, try to have plan backgrounds with little personal information behind them.

Further information

Further information and advice about parental controls and monitoring can be found on a number of websites, including: