Top tips for parents to help keep children safe online this Christmas

School holidays are officially starting today for UK children and parents are faced with the task of entertaining children to prevent them to be online and in front of video games during the festivities. In a very timely move, EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator and part of BT Group, has teamed up with online safety experts, Internet Matters, to support parents in keeping their children safe online when giving the gift of mobile devices this Christmas. 

 

 

 

Smartphones and tablets are the main way that children get online, and we know it can be tough for parents to stay on top of all of the latest apps, games and social networks that our children are using.

More than 50% of children regularly use smartphones and tablets, and new research by EE shows that 35% of parents are planning on giving smartphones or tablets to their children this Christmas. While many parents do discuss online safety with their children regularly, 40% do not consider online safety when making purchases, and 25% have never used parental controls.  A further 25% were unlikely to take the time to set up their child’s new tablet or smartphone safely during a busy Christmas day before letting them get online.

In response to these findings, EE and Internet Matters have created clear and easy advice this Christmas, including free wrapping paper with online safety tips in 200 EE stores. The wrapping paper features a festive theme on the outside and easy-to-follow advice on the inside, providing much needed help for parents who may be feeling overwhelmed, uninformed or ill-equipped to talk about online safety issues with their children. This is accompanied by further information in-store as well as internetmatters.org.

 

The top tips for parents from EE and Internet Matters to help keep children safe online this Christmas include:

  1. Check the basic safety settings are set up and active e.g. location settings and the app store permissions
  2. Review their apps – make sure they are age appropriate and privacy settings are on
  3. Turn on Google ‘Safe Search’ and ‘Restricted Mode’ on YouTube to help screen out inappropriate content
  4. Check they’re connected safely – set parental controls on your broadband and apply a content lock on their mobile network
  • All EE phones are set by default to moderate which limits access to things like pornography – but EE also offers one of the most comprehensive content locks in the UK, specifically designed for parents to activate on devices that they give to children that restricts un-moderated social media and sets Google Safe Search by default. Parents can set this by texting ‘strict’ to 879.

5. Ensure your children know the rules:

  • Always keep your phone safe and secured with a PIN.
  • Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognise.
  • Don’t give your number to strangers.
  • Never share personal information online.
  • Never send pictures to people you don’t know.

6. Stay engaged – have regular conversations with your children about what they do.

 

Check other London Mums features to help you survive the festive season:

7 mindful tips to avoid festive stress

Christmas Gift

London Mums recommended fun family activities for the festive season

 

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