February 5th is Safer Internet Day. The 2019 theme is ‘Together for a better internet’, highlighting the part we all have to play in online safety.
Here are four tips to help your children and the young people in your life learn the skills they need to stay safe online.
1. Practise the ‘4Rs’
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is the home of Safer Internet Day in Australia. Their ‘4Rs’ are a great start to having a safe and enjoyable time online, whether you’re a kid or an adult. The 4Rs are:
You can read more about the 4Rs on the Safer Internet Day website.
2. Set some ground rules
For example: keeping personal details (like name and address) and passwords to yourself, making sure you know who you’re talking to, and treating people online with respect. You might like to create a code of online conduct as a family - like Janell Burley Hofmann did with her son’s iPhone ‘contract’, or the Digizen Family Online Agreement.
3. Understand how your child uses the internet
A massive 97% of Australian homes with children under 15 have access to the internet - it’s a fabulous learning tool, and a great source of games and social connection. However, how you use the internet and how your children use the internet can be very different. Try opening a conversation about how they use the internet, and how they can be safer online.
Kids Helpline has a great interactive site that you might like to look at together to start the conversation.
4. Talk about bullying
Kids today can face bullying at school, but it can also continue online outside of school hours. The Australian Government’s Bullying. No Way! campaign includes loads of resources on how to talk to your kids about bullying, and what to do if your child is experiencing bullying online.
This Safer Internet Day, have a conversation with the young people in your life about what it means to be safe online. And keep the conversation going. We’d love to see you at our Safer Internet Day event at Thomastown Library on February 5th.