The recent online safety workshops presented by NSPCC in partnership with O2 reminded parents of the importance of understanding our children’s online world.
Along with some sobering statistics around cyber bullying, presenters Heather and Alan gave an introduction to some of today’s most common apps, the age restrictions for each (did you know you have to be 13 years old to use Whatsapp?) and the risks associated with some of the most popular apps.
The three greatest risks are:
- What they see
- Who they meet
- What they do
The key for us as parents is to engage with our children, have the conversation around what they’re doing online, help them set boundaries (e.g. only real-life friends can be online friends, no strangers) and give them strategies to cope with the risks.
Tools and help available online and in person:
- www.net-aware.org.uk – a site that keeps you up to date with the social networks your child is using.
- 0800 800 5000 – a helpline dedicated to parents who may have concerns about their child’s online safety
- O2 gurus – free in-store expertise at O2 to help you set up parental controls, privacy settings etc (Union Street and Union Square stores)
Let’s work together to help our kids speak out and stay safe.