Keeping Children Safe Online – A Parent’s Dilemma

Children's Internet safety online

The internet these days is a scary place. Sure, it’s exciting and interesting, and the information it contains can be really useful, but I still worry about my kids and what they are watching and reading. One of the main reasons we started this blog as a family was to guide our boys towards safe use of the internet, and show them that you can have a blog or YouTube channel but still be safe online. I know lots of bloggers feel differently about how much information they share about their families. Some don’t even show their own or their kids’ faces, others are happy to use full names and state where they live.

We sit somewhere in between – we don’t use surnames on our blog, only talk about the general area where we live, and don’t share the kids’ school (and get them to take their school jumpers off for any photos/videos). I know that people could find these things out if they really tried hard, but I guess it stops any opportunists who fancy hanging around the school gates for goodness knows what reason! We always joke that any abductor would soon bring them back when they found out what they’re really like, but we all know the reality is far darker than that.

I must admit that YouTube is one of my biggest worries currently. My kids would watch it all day if I let them! But a lot of the content is inappropriate, and I don’t like the influence it has. I’m not just speaking about pornography, but a lot of prank type videos, destruction, and generally ‘silliness’ which seems to indicate to them that it’s ok to behave this way, whilst I try to stress to them that this is not the way normal people go on. I also hear bad language occasionally, even from gamers who I would expect to ‘tone it down’, and although I don’t allow them to play games like GTA and Call of Duty, I have caught them trying to watch videos on YouTube of other people playing them.

The next big worry will be social media. Hugo got a mobile phone for his birthday, and I’ve already made him delete a social media app. I just don’t feel they are ready for the potential abuse that social media brings. I’ve already drummed into them about dangers of communicating with people over x-box that they don’t know, and as far as I’m aware they are careful, but I just can’t look over their shoulders 24/7. I dearly wish I could sometimes!

So today I want to share with you this infographic. We haven’t been paid to do so or anything, I just think it’s an important message, and one very close to home with us as our children enter their  ‘tweenage’ years in a digital age.

How to Protect your Children on their Smartphones

 

Please click here to view a larger version
How do you feel about this? Are we the most uptight parents in the world, or do you share some of our concerns? Please let us know in the comments below.

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ethannevelyn

18 Comment

  1. Oh it’s so difficult isn’t it? We are living in a technological age and I think whatever we do, we can not avoid our kids being exposed to it. But I think what you are doing is ideal – embracing what technology has to offer whilst setting clear boundaries, rules and safety measures around use of social media. My oldest is only 4, so surprise egg videos are the extent of my worries at the moment (!) but you never know what they are going to stumble across. I never planned to share information on my kids when I started my blog, but quickly realised that people like to hear about your whole story. I don’t use my kids real names though and feel I am sharing less and less in terms of photos and things about them, moving the blog towards more activities and ideas. I think that is the way I’ll be going as they get older too. This is a great infographic to keep handy. xx
    Rosie @ Little Fish recently posted…Living Arrows: 34/52 Last Day of Forest SchoolMy Profile

  2. Nadja has just done homework on internet safety so it’s great that her school has started to take this more seriously, Great post Cal and more people need to be talking about this and addressing it.

  3. There isn’t a safe way to keep them safe online that allows them online. If you want your children safe online don’t allow them access to the internet 🙂

  4. Some of those stats are quite frightening really. Being safe online is super important, fab post! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx
    The Tale of Mummyhood recently posted…#Blogstravaganza #40My Profile

    1. Thank you

  5. with the world becoming more internet savvy we want our children to learn as well. That seems hard to do when there are so many out there to hurt our children.
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  6. Thanks for sharing this really important issue. The infographic is great. I am really concerned about safety online and also the influences that come from YouTube etc… Mine LO’s are still young and don’t independently use the internet so I’ve still got time to make up a plan! Thanks for linking up #FabFridayPost

    1. It’s a constantly changing technology too! Tough to manage but we have to try and keep up!

  7. Being safe online is a concern for everybody but even so our children. Growing up in a world that revolves around technology is a bit scary but if it’s all managed properly it can be very safe! #fabfridaypost
    Jade – Raw Childhood recently posted…Aeroplane watching with kidsMy Profile

  8. What an informative infographic. I have to say that I am dreading this stage. As a teacher I would see so many problems because of social media and the Internet. As parents we need to make sure that we are really switched on and that we know what they are accessing from their phones x

  9. I’m so on it with keeping kids safe online – we are even more aware as ours are adopted and so we want to ensure that they are always aware of who might be trying to contact them and why. It’s a scary place out there but with a little planning I think that we can hopefully get a good balance! Thanks for linking up to #Blogstravaganza

    1. I agree, a balance is what it’s all about.

  10. The thing is its not something you can get away from now so you just have to make it as safe as possible. It is scary but if we address problems or at least foreseeable problems head on then it cuts down the danger,

    1. Exactly right, we can’t hide from it, we just have to give our children the best guidance we can.

  11. It’s going to be tough for me to manage that when L gets old enough, especially as I’m on social media all the time. But I will teach him everything I know about being safe online and also be keeping a physical eye on his phone/tablet etc Everything changes so fast though #blogstravaganza

    1. It is really hard to keep on top of – things are changing all the time as you say.

  12. Good points raised and food for thought X #Blogstravaganza

    1. Thank you, it’s always on my mind.

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