2020 has been a challenging year, for everyone.
Whether you have been a stay-at-home-parent, worked from home or been a key worker we have all had our struggles.
One thing is for sure, we would have been lost without the internet!! Almost all the kids home learning was online based and the only way they could see and interact with their friends was through Zoom calls and messenger.
I have been very conscious that my children have been online this year, more than they have ever been and their online safety is my priority.
ESET is committed to making the internet a safer place for our children and advises that we should start talking to them about internet safety as soon as they start using the internet, whether it be for games, or homework.
ESET has established Safer Kids Online, working closely with Internet Matters, a not-for-profit organisation that works collaboratively across industry, government and schools to reach UK families with tools, tips and resources to help children benefit from connected technology smartly and safely.
The online world is an ever change beast and as a blogger I like to think I am internet savvy, however, with increasingly complex mobile devices, new communication platforms and a quickly evolving online language, even I can often find myself ten paces behind the kids.
ESET has also been working with my local AFC Bournemouth team and their Community Sports Trust, by running workshops with local schools delivered by a senior squad player and an ESET cyber security specialist and we were sent a fun workbook to do with the kids.
Kids can get very tunnel visioned when online and gaming, so it is best to chat to them about safety online when not already immersed in technology and create an environment where they can ask questions freely and have time to absorb new information.
I introduced Eliza and Sebby to the workbook and they really enjoyed completing the challenges, probably helped by the fact that the first activity was easy for them, as they had to match the app logo’s with the relevant apps.
The booklet then asked them to write down fives pieces of personal and non-personal information, which opened up a conversation between both themselves and me.
The booklet also included a word search challenge, which introduced them to words that they might not necessarily use in day to day language, but are important online terms they should know.
The final challenge was to create a poster using the information they had learned from the previous activities, to help keep themselves and others safe online.
There are also some fabulous child-friendly videos at saferkidsonline.eset.com/uk/kids-zone which can also help explain why you should keep your information safe online, stay safe from cyber bullies etc.
Whilst the website has some great content for children, there is also clear and concise guides for us parents too and I especially liked their internet guide for different age groups, as keeping Eliza and Sebby safe is easier than keeping my teen safe.
3 Top Tips for Keeping the Kids Safe Online
1. Keep technology in living areas where kids can be supervised – in our house, our desktop computer is in our front room, so the kids can be supervised when using it, plus, they are not allowed phones / iPads in their bedrooms.
2. Another of my tips as a parent, is to set the parental controls on all their devices. It is possible to block sites or even categories of pages that contain potentially offensive material. You can also set time limits for internet surfing or game play.
3. Keep the lines of communication open and talk openly about what they are seeing on the internet.
How do you keep your kids safe online?
Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with ESET and Mumsnet. I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity and all opinions here are my own.