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Staying Safe Online Social Media

1. Staying Safe 2. Family Internet Safety 3. Social Media Safety

3.Social Media Safety

Children will often start to become more independent online around the ages of 8 - 12 years, and technical maturity and independence is on the rise with the new technologies available.  With this in mind, it can be useful to start discussions about social media and the safe and proper use of these websites with your children as early as possible.

Start talking

Talk about staying safe online just like you would talk to them about how to cross the street safely. Also, talk to your children about what they're doing online, what websites they go on, what games they play, what they watch etc. Talking to them like you would about their school day is the best way to keep them safe and encouraging them to come and talk to you if there is something they're not sure about online. By doing this you will be able to notice if there's something wrong or if there are any problems.

Some good tips to help with this are

  • Explore sites and apps together and talking about anything that may concern you or your child.
  • Ask your child if they know how to stay safe online.
  • Talk about how to stay safe on the internet and how to report, block and protect their information.

Children also need to know the risks of talking to people they don't know online; make sure your child realises that people can pretend to be someone they are not.

It can be helpful to discuss how even sharing small pieces of information can, over time, build up a very personal picture of an individual.  Finally, talk about the positives of social media and make sure you and your child discuss what IS appropriate to share online.

Be Share Aware: Talk about what's OK and not OK to share online.

Talk to your child so they know what personal information is and why it is so important. Explain why it's important to protect their privacy, especially with things that give away too much information like their address, school name or phone number.

Help your child understand that people are always who they say they are online and it can be hard to identify them and they may not be who they say they are. It is important that they know not to share their private information with people they don’t know. It's also good to help them understand how some images and photos might be inappropriate and to share with people.

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