Online Safety Christmas Tips
Many Christmas lists will probably include electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones or games consoles. Below are some hints to help parents make these devices safer...
· When you purchase a device, take it out of the box before you give it to your child. Go onto the settings section where you can restrict or disable features so your children cannot download unsuitable applications or content e.g. videos. A good site to support you with setting controls is: http://www.internetmatters.org/
· Make sure that the account on the tablet/phone is set up by a parent or carer, so that they can authorise content that is downloaded. This is important if they want to download any additional content called ‘In App Purchases’ (IAP).
· Look at the age ratings for applications as some might not be suitable for your child. The same goes for access to popular sites such as You Tube, Snapchat and Tik Tok.
· Talk to your children about using cameras and video chat facilities. If someone acts inappropriately, then make sure they tell you immediately. Also, ensure they use these features sensibly and don’t take unsuitable images and share them with people they don’t know.
· If you are buying a smartphone for your child, talk to the mobile provider about parental controls. These might not be automatically switched on, so you may need to look at the providers website for support.
· Games consoles such as Xbox’s and Playstations are very popular with primary aged children. The key issue with video games is the suitability of a number of titles as they are rated in the same way as films. Therefore, major releases before Christmas such as Call of Duty: Modern Welfare (rated 18), Star Wars Jedi (rated 16), NFS Heat (rated 16) all have 16+ ratings. A useful site to find about the content of games can be found here: https://www.askaboutgames.com/