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28.4.15

Internet Matters | Childrens Online Safety

Although only almost 6 Charles is aware of the internet.
He has a tablet, which isn't connected to wifi unless I connect it, to play games on and he will occasionally ask if he can go onto Google.
I will sometimes let the boys go on my laptop, although this is kept to a minimum. They like to visit the usual sites children seem to be fascinated by, these being Youtube or the children's tv channels to play games.

I think that, despite their young ages, it is really important to explain to them why we want to see what they are clicking on, what they are watching, playing. I don't want to limit their access to something without telling them exactly why I am doing that.
But it's also important as a parent to keep up to date with the dangers out there and knowing where or how to get help if needed.

Internet Matters is an independent, not-for-profit organisation to help parents keep their children safe online.The website is full of advice and help for parents, and focuses on three main points, which I think work really well to give parents confidence in dealing with situations if they arise.
These three points are:

Learn About It

Internet Matters offers information about many of the issues and technologies that children may come across in the online world. From sexting to cyberbullying, our recognised experts help to ensure we provide access to the most up to date and relevant information available for parents.

Talk About It

Almost without exception, research tells us that the most successful way to keep our children safe online is to talk about it. Internet Matters has practical tips about how to start and continue those conversations with children. It’s never too late to talk about it.

Deal With It

Internet Matters provides practical suggestions about how to take preventative measures, but also what to do if your family needs advice about a specific issue. Whether it’s finding out about filters to search safely or what to do about cyberbullying, Internet Matters aims to put you in touch with the best resources and support.
When it comes to the internet, and young children now having access to it, it is really easy for them to come across inappropriate content. As an adult there are times when I search for something completely innocent on Google and end up with results that shock me and that I didn't quite expect.
Knowing how to communicate with your children is a daunting thing when it comes to the internet. How much do I tell my 5 year old? Or my 3 year old? And how do I tell them? It's easier to explain to an older child, because they understand more and because hopefully they are more aware. However, a younger child isn't as aware of dangers or of consequences, and we need to explain the dangers and inappropriate content there is around on the internet without compromising their innocence.

For me the most helpful aspect of the Internet Matters website is the fact that there are e-safety resources divided into specific age groups.
So for me, currently, I'll be focussing on reading the Preschool resources and resources for young children (6-10).

At 1pm today @tots100 will be hosting a Twitter party with Internet Matters (@IM_org) discussing online safety. Use the hashtag #KidsandTech if you want to join in.