Dr Tanya Byron writes in The Byron Review:
A useful way for us all to think about this is to look at how we protect children in places of benefit and risk in the real (offline) world: public swimming pools. Here there are safety signs and information; shallow as well as deep ends; swimming aids and lifeguards; doors, locks and alarms. However, children will sometimes take risks and jump into waters too deep for them or want to climb walls and get through locked doors – therefore we also teach them how to swim. We must adopt the same combination of approaches in order to enable our children and young people to navigate these exciting digital waters while supporting and empowering them to do so safely.
As your son grows and becomes more independent, it is only natural that they take this independence online. In our teenage years we explore, try new things and sometimes push boundaries and take risks; this is an essential part of growing up. With all of the potential that the online world and new technology offers, young people now have access to huge opportunities. They use technology to express themselves, explore, and be creative; it has changed the way they communicate. The internet has changed all of our lives, and your son has grown up during this change. Many of the things that confuse, baffle or even scare us, are part of the everyday for him. For many of us, this can all be a bit too much. Whether you are a technophobe or a technophile, it is still likely that you’ll be playing catch-up with the way your son is using the internet.
You might wonder whether what they are doing is safe, and you might also be thinking how can I be as good a parent online as I am offline? The following links provide valuable up-to-date information and advice for parents in this rapidly changing environment.
CEOP – Think U Know
An information and reporting site designed and run by the police for parents, pupils & educators. This site aims to make online parenting simple: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/
The Digizen website provides information for educators, parents, carers, and young people. It is used to strengthen their awareness and understanding of what digital citizenship is and encourages users of technology to be and become responsible DIGItal citiZENS. It shares specific advice and resources on issues such as social networking and cyberbullying and how these relate to and affect their own and other people’s online experiences and behaviours.
Know IT All for Parents – Childnet
A unique interactive e-safety guide containing advice and information for parents and carers.
UK Safer internet Centre – parents’ guide to technology
In the parents’ sessions we run in schools, we get a lot of questions about particular devices that children are using or asking for. This guide has been created to answer these questions and introduce some of the most popular devices, highlighting the safety tools available and empowering parents with the knowledge they need to support their children to use these technologies safely and responsibly.
National Cyber Security Alliance: stay safe and secure online
Quick tips and how-to guides that explain what you can do to stay safe and secure on the web.