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New Campaign to help keep children safe online

Scottish Government’s Parent Club launched a new campaign, as part of Safer Internet Day, as new research has revealed that more than one in ten parents don’t set any parental controls on their child’s online devices.

The Scottish Government’s Parent Club child online safety campaign highlights easy ways for parents and carers of 8-11-year-olds to help protect them online.

Minister for Children and Young People, Clare Haughey MSP said: “There are many amazing things we can do online. The internet is a wonderful resource, and we want children and young people to make the most of it to learn, communicate and collaborate. However, it is really important that when you are online, you stay safe.”

Claire Haughey went on to explain that “The importance of understanding how to stay safe online is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s new public awareness campaign”.

“The campaign aims to inform parents about the risks of online harm and how to protect their children online.”

Further stating that “I encourage everyone in Scotland to get involved and play their part in making the internet a safer place.”

Online Safety Consultant Jess McBeath has put together some tips to help keep young people safe online;

Tip #1: Talk about digital every day

In the same way as you might ask your child how their school day went; ask how it’s going on the latest app or game they’re using. You’ll learn about the technology they’re using and hear about the fun they’re having.  They might also open up if they’re worried about something online.

Tip #2: Have fun together online

Family together time can be online as well as well as offline.  Digital is an important part of children’s lives, so make it part of family life too.  Play a game, watch videos together or send each other funny clips on a messaging app.

Tip #3: Agree digital boundaries as a family

Reduce arguments later on by setting clear boundaries on digital use from the start.

Tip #4: Use parental support tools

It’s second nature to put on your seatbelt when getting into a car.  Make use of the tools available to help keep your child safe online as well. These include parental controls, age ratings for apps and games, and reporting tools.

Tip #5: Secure family devices and data

You wouldn’t tell a stranger where your child lives, so don’t tell them online either.  Review how much personal information you’ve shared about your child and family online.

Tip #6: Raise a critical thinker

Just as you would teach your child to cross the road on their own, teach older children how to navigate the internet on their own.  Ask them what they think are the warning signs that someone online is not trustworthy.

Tip #7: Don’t wait to be asked.  Don’t assume they’ll tell.

Have you ever avoided having an embarrassing or uncomfortable conversation with someone?  Children do this too.  Why ask a parent about a sensitive topic if they can just search online? Start the conversations about topics like growing up and relationships with your child now.

For easy ways to help protect your child online and practical advice to help you feel more confident in knowing how to keep your children safe online visit https://www.parentclub.scot/topics/online-safety

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