eSafety: Top tips

One of the most common general worries about technology for parents is how to manage its usage, especially as new technologies are everywhere.

While computers and related technology will play a massive part in your child's life and education, we don’t want them to become their life. By encouraging healthy computer habits while children are young, they will develop skills which will help them to cope when they reach secondary school and the need for technology usage increases.

Here are 5 tips to help develop these skills at home:

Keep devices in a public space

The number one rule with technology is keep devices in a public space. By spending time talking about your child's online activities, you can monitor the suitability of the games they are playing, sites they are visiting and apps they are using. By asking questions, you are also showing them that you have an interest in the things that they are learning or playing.

 

Content management

There are many different ways to manage content available online, by applying filters or by downloading specific programs and while these are designed to limit access to inappropriate sites, all of these systems come with a warning that no filter is perfect, and nothing replaces parental supervision. Another option is to create a new user profile that allows you to list the websites that your child can access. 

Learn how to do this for Windows

Learn how to do this for Mac

Teach the importance of good internet manners

The golden rule for social media is never post anything that you wouldn’t be happy sharing with a room full of 50 people. It’s never too early to teach your children the importance of good internet manners. There are real people behind those screens, and the internet has a long memory. These lessons should be taught early, and social games like Minecraft are a great learning ground.

 

Time management

Computers can be addictive. Timing screen usage is one way to curb potential addictive behaviours. Use a kitchen timer in our house, or the timer on a mobile phone (with some reasonable allowance to “just finish this game”) to establish usage time.

Balance screen time with real-world time

There is only so much children can learn and experience on the internet; outside in the real world, their curiosity takes over as they are exposed to an environment bigger than they are. Encourage their wonder and curiosity by balancing screen time with time spent in the real world.