Friday, October 7, 2016

Guidelines for Parents to Ensure their Child’s Online Safety

What should my child do to remain safe on line?

  1. Sit down with your child and go through the privacy settings for the App or Website they wish to use. Prior to this, do some research such as Googling “Privacy Concerns with Instagram”.
    • This will help you discover information such as Instagram reveals the location (Geo Tag) of every photo taken by all Instagram users. So any photograph taken at home can reveal the user’s address.
  2. Advise your child not to give out their online passwords to anyone and to change it periodically.
  3. At night keep devices in your bedroom, not in a central place downstairs. (Children have been known to go down stairs at night and to retrieve them).

Who Should your child friend online?


  1. Remind your child only to be friends with children that they would be friendly with offline.
  2. Go through your child’s account with them and filter friends to be only those with whom they spend time offline. Have a ‘delete day’. Inform your child that you expect them to do this also. 
  3. Inform your child that it is okay not to accept friendship requests from people they do not know. Tell them you expect them to do this and that you will be monitoring to ensure that that is what happens.

What Information is okay to share?




  1. Agree with your child in advance what information is okay to share e.g. photos of self, family and holidays?
  2. Remind your child to T.H.I.N.K. before they text or type. T.H.I.N.K stands for is it Thoughtful is it Helpful, is it Interesting, is it Nice, and is it Kind.
  3. Remind your child to treat someone online as they would like to be treated.
  4. Remind your child that Sexting – sending explicit photos of self – is pornography and is illegal. 

What information is okay to Share Onwards?




  1. Go through your school’s cyber bullying policy with your child; especially information about retweeting and resending offensive material.
  2. If your child knows someone who is sending offensive material encourage them to tell you.

What Apps and Websites are okay to Use?




  1. Check the legal age for various apps.
  2. Advise your child to avoid unmediated websites and sites that encourage anonymity. Such as the following: ask.com (formally ask.fm), Omegle, Kik, Whisper, Voxer, Yik Yak, Vine, Tumblr.
  3.  If your child is using a social media service, you should also use the same one.



If you have any other thoughts or advice please share them in the comments.

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