It’s a sight the country over: eight, nine or ten-year-olds with their head bend over a phone or laptop, nonchalantly grunting to any questions you ask as they scroll through the wondrous world of the internet. Yes, we are guilty of it ourselves, but (hopefully) us adults have a little more sense and knowledge when it comes to online safety and the real dangers of the internet.   


Before your tween opens up a browser though, make sure they know the following things:


1. How to be internet safe

From not posting private information online to not adding friends that they don’t know, there are plenty of things your tween can do to stay as safe as possible. Make sure they know to never share passwords, leave social media accounts open on public computers and to never post a photo that they don’t want anyone else to see, even privately.  


2. What happens if they are being bullied online

As we become more and more reliant on technology and social media, bullying has moved away from being a classroom problem to an online issue, and for young kids it can feel like there is no escape. While banning our tweens from the computer is the best way to prevent cyber-bullying, it is not realistic, and we need to teach them what to do if they or any of their friends are being bullied in this way. Talk about online safety regularly and make sure they feel confident and comfortable coming to you if you feel there is something wrong or are in trouble.  



3. What happens to their photos online

It is easy to take a photo and share it online with a click of a button, but it is important your child knows what happens to them. If they don’t have the correct privacy settings on pictures posted can be shared by friends and friends of friends, ultimately being viewed by thousands of people without their knowledge. Also, it is important for them to realise that even if they delete it, it is never really gone from the web.


4. How to use it in moderation

Even we, as parents, find this one difficult at times, but it something you can work on as a family. With the internet just a click away it is simply too easy to lose a few hours mindlessly scrolling through the web or social media. To stop this happening, schedule internet time during the day for your son or daughter and restrict their access to phones or laptops. While it will prove difficult tp begin with, both you and them will truly benefit.