There are many ways to reduce the risks to children and young people using these technologies:
Educate your children - Be clear about the kind of personal information your children should not divulge over the Internet, including their names, addresses, and phone numbers. Teach your children what to do if a stranger approaches them online. Monitoring software will allow you to monitor, chats, emails, website visits, and internet searches so you can keep informed silently. Specifically, tell children to cut off communication with any person they don't know and to notify you immediately. Educate your child how to be focuse on the smat rules: S: Safe
Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information when you’re chatting or posting online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and password.
Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ or carers’ permission and even then only when they can be present. Remember online friends are still strangers even if you have been talking to them for a long time.
Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or nasty messages.
Someone online might lie about who they are and information on the internet may not be true. Always check information with other websites, books or someone who knows. If you like chatting online it’s best to only chat to your real world friends and family.
Tell your parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.
Make the Internet a family activity - Maybe more important than anything else, keep your computers in a central part of the house; that way you can stay involved and keep an eye on what your children are doing.
Talk often - The most important online safety strategy, regardless of the technology involved, is to maintain an open dialogue with your child about their digital lives.Set ground rules for using mobile phones (as with any technology) - and have penalties for if they are abused - but try not to impose fear in your child that their phones will be taken away from them if they do encounter problems.If problems do occur, talk through the issues in a calm and rational way, and try to help your child devise sensible self-protection strategies should they encounter problems again in the future.
Use inbuilt tools and services - Mobile operators take safety issues very seriously, and there are a number of pan-European and international initiatives to make mobile use safer for children and young people. These predominantly focus on awareness raising and self-regulation within the industry.Mobile operators are providing an increasing range of tools to help parents manage their children's mobile phone use. These may be features of the handsets themselves (there are many handsets appearing on the market that are specifically designed for younger users), or may be applied to the account, such as parental control filters. Such content restrictions are typically set to the highest level of protection by default. Be a good role model - Try to be a good role model in your own mobile phone use. If your child sees that you adopt safe and responsible behaviour when using mobile technology, they may be more inclined to follow your lead!
Have some daily downtime - Consider having a central point in the home where all mobile phones are kept for charging overnight. Aside from making sure that phones are always charged – essential in case of emergencies – it will also ensure that the phone owner gets some ‘downtime', without disturbance from the...