It can be hard to know how to talk to your child about online safety. From setting up parental controls to advice on sexting, online games and video apps, we can help you to understand the risks and keep your child safe.
Create a safe space to talk. Talking regularly, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you. It can help to:
• reassure them that you’re interested in their life, offline and online. • recognise that they’ll be using the internet to research homework as well talking to their friends. • ask your child to show you what they enjoy doing online or apps they’re using so you can understand them. • be positive but also open about anything you’re worried about. You could say “I think this site’s really good” or “I’m a little worried about things I’ve seen here.” • ask them if they’re worried about anything, and let them know they can come to you. • ask them about their friends online and how they know they are who they say they are. • listen for the reasons why your child wants to use apps or site you don’t think are suitable, so you can talk about these together. • ask your child what they think is okay for children of different ages so they feel involved in the decision making.
How can I make use safer? All mobile phone providers offer free parental control services which limit the content children can access via the internet to content suitable for under 18s. However, they may not always be automatically switched on. Check with your service provider that the parental control settings are switched on, and ask for them to be switched on if they are not. You should be able to do this via your account settings on your provider’s website.
Stay safer offline. There are several apps available to track your child’s movements, a great free one is ‘Hollie Guard’.
If your child is in danger they can shake their phone or tap the screen to generate an alert. Their location and audio/video evidence will automatically be sent to emergency contacts who can take action to help them quickly.
The Journey feature allows your child to notify you of their movements while traveling. Enter your start and end point, and an SMS & email will be sent to your emergency contacts when you’ve started and safely completed your journey.
To register for a FREE account and for more information visit www.hollieguard.org.
Hollie Guard was developed by the Hollie Gazzard Trust (HGT) to help people stay safe. HGT supports young hairdressers and charities fighting domestic abuse and anti-knife crime. The app was created in honour of Hollie Gazzard, a haidresser who lost her life to domestic violence.