Supervising online use
Please remember the importance of supervising your child’s online usage.
Basic guidelines for parental supervision:
- Spend time online together to teach your kids appropriate online behavior.
- Keep the computer in a common area where you can watch and monitor its use, not in individual bedrooms. Monitor any time spent on smartphones or tablets.
- Bookmark kids' favorite sites for easy access.
- Check your credit card and phone bills for unfamiliar account charges.
- Find out what, if any, online protection is offered by your child's school, after-school center, friends' homes, or any place where kids could use a computer without your supervision.
- Take your child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange.
Facebook and photo-sharing site Instagram both require users to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account. Creating a Facebook account with false info is a violation of Facebook's terms, including accounts registered for someone under 13.
Twitter, the site where users post messages and tweets in 140 characters, says you must be at least "13-years-old to use its services".
At first Snapchat, which allows people to post videos and photos for 10 seconds before they disappear, restricted anyone under the age of 13 from using their site.
It then introduced a limited version of the app for under 13s - called SnapKidz - which allows photos and drawing but not sending messages. Users aged under 13 are redirected to Snapkidz.
The minimum age for the mobile phone messaging app WhatsApp is 16-years-old.
YouTube requires accounts holders to be aged 18 and over, and also restricts much of its content to over 18s, but it will also allow a 13-year-old to sign up with their parent's permission.
Reduce the risk. The UK Council for Internet Safety has guidance on minimising children’s exposure to risks online. The UK Safer Internet Centre with Childnet International has specific guidance on under 5s.
Talk to your child. Childnet has guidance for parents and carers to begin a conversation about online safety and Ditch the Label teacher resources that can be helpful for parents to discuss cyberbullying and the government also has helpful advice. Encourage your child to speak to you or a trusted adult if they come across content that makes them uncomfortable.