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17 Aug 2022

EXPLAINER: 9 top tips to keep your kids safe online

EXPLAINER: 9 top tips to keep your kids safe online

EXPLAINER: 9 top tips to keep your kids safe online

Tuesday, February 8 is Safer Internet Day and Switcher.ie have shared some top tips to help keep children safe online. 

Our children have been spending more time than ever online over the past year. With the events of the last few years, using the internet has become a necessity for most families. 97% of students now use the internet every day, so keeping our children safe online is a huge priority.

Here are Switcher.ie's top tips:

Talk to your child about online safety: Discuss how to safely use the internet from a young age and make sure they feel comfortable speaking to you if they're unsure about something they see online.

Be aware of the risks: Knowing the potential dangers children could face online makes it easier to be vigilant in looking out for them. Know what platforms your children use, and watch out for the signs of cyberbullying.

Set boundaries: Let your children know what they can and can't do on the internet from the get-go. Agree on when they can access the internet, how long and what devices they can use.

Set up parental controls: These ready-made boundaries put parents in control of what children can see online. They can be set up through your internet provider or at device level and block specific websites and filter out inappropriate content.

Get social media savvy: Each social media account will have its own privacy settings and tips for parents on the best ways to keep safe while using the apps. Check them out before you let children have their own accounts.

Get secure: Install antivirus software on each device to minimise the risk of cyber attacks or scams. You can get free versions of this, but the paid versions often come with greater protection. 

Talk about data security: Educate your child to not share personal details, photos or information online without checking first. Teach them not to open emails or attachments from unknown sources and not click on links to unknown websites. 

Use two-factor authentication: Adding 2FA adds extra security to your accounts but can also stop children from signing into services that are blocked to them and purchasing something without your permission. 

Lead by example: Limiting your time online can help reinforce the rules you are setting for your children. 

For more information on how to keep children safe online, please see the complete guide HERE.

Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie comments: "The internet is a more significant part of our lives than ever, and children are no exception. Over the past year, children were encouraged to use the internet in so many new ways, like keeping in contact with loved ones, playing with friends, and completing their schooling. A staggering 97% of students use the internet every day, so it's essential to make sure they are safety savvy. 

"A stable internet connection is, of course, a must to get the most out of these online experiences; however, so is a solid understanding of internet safety. To give you peace of mind, most broadband providers allow you to install parental controls at a household level. Some social media sites also have privacy settings site-wide, so be sure to check these before letting your child use them. 

"There are a huge amount of resources available to help you educate you and your child on online safety. Brushing up on your tech know-how could help you to pass on that knowledge to your children and encourage them to talk about internet safety." 

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