Teaching kids to be safe online

07 February 2023

Teaching kids to be safe online

Tuesday 7th February is Safer Internet Day! Online activity is part of everyday life and for many families, it can be overwhelming to know how to create safe and healthy guidelines around internet use in our households. 

Whether your children are still small and internet use isn't on your immediate radar, or they are much older and already have established patterns of internet use, it's never too early or too late to think about how to use technology more wisely in our homes.

There's plenty that we can do as parents to create and open and safe environment around online activity in our homes. Here are three ways to get started.

1. Establish open communication

Encourage open and honest communication with your children about their online activities. Ask them about their online friends, what websites and apps they use, and what they like and dislike about their online experiences. By staying informed and involved, you can help keep them safe and address any concerns that arise.

2. Implement online rules and boundaries

Set clear rules and boundaries for your children's online behaviour. This might include limits on the amount of time they spend online, restrictions on the type of websites they can visit, and rules about sharing personal information or downloading content. Make sure your children understand the importance of these rules and the consequences for breaking them. Not sure where to start? The Office of the eSafety Commissioner has plenty of resources and tools for parents as they consider a way forward.

3. Educate your children about cyberbullying and online predators

Teach your children about the dangers of cyberbullying and online predation, including how to recognise and avoid these behaviours. Emphasise the importance of treating others with respect online, and encourage your children to report any instances of bullying or inappropriate behaviour to you or to another adult they trust.

At Illawarra Christian School, we embrace the opportunities offered by rich engagement with the technological tools available to us - but we want to make sure that we always model and use them safely and encourage our students to be wise and sensible in their online behaviours.

For more resources to help parents and families, visit our Resources page.