From the point of view of a parent, there is a whole new level of trepidation when your child requests access to a device and we quickly start looking up tools on how to keep our children safe online.
Gone are the days where at a young age Christmas lists consisted of Barbies and Hot Wheels, maybe a Furby, a Cabbage Patch Doll or a bike, now you are more likely to see an iPad or iPhone on your children's Santa’s list.
Kids having access to the internet is terrifying.
One of our Phriendly Phishing parents says, “This is my second time around buying tech for one of my children, I wish I had the resilience of other parents and say no until school age – or older, but with Miss 5 keen on Reading Eggs (IYKYK) and watching Bluey, her younger brother is desperate to be just as ‘grown up’.”
For parents and caregivers, there are many resources available to help you make your children’s online safety a priority.
Parental controls are a MUST HAVE
Even the youngest of internet users can get up to all sorts of trouble with an online device. Parental controls are a must have and our staff recommend Family Link (Android) and Kids Mode (Samsung). This gives you an extra level of security on your children's online time. As a parent - it's important to limit all apps you don’t want them having access too. Learn more about parental controls here.
Teach them early
It’s important to establish that online time is a privilege, not a need, and as the parent, you have full control over when they are allowed access.
Maintain open communication about the dangers of going online as they get older, which will decrease the risk of online secrets, and protect your child. You should educate them to understand WHY you sometimes say no (e.g. YouTube Kids because sometimes nasty people put horrible things online pretending to be something nice”)
Always stay one step ahead of them!
As your children grow older, sometimes they'll outgrow your 'tech' skills and suddenly, you're the one asking questions like "What's BeReal or TikTok?"
Despite the rapid changes of being online, you can stay ahead of the curve (and your children) on the risks with these resources: