Staying safe online – tips for parents with young children

To help your kids become safe and responsible online users, check out these tips.

Set the ground rules

Establish rules about the types of content or information your child should report to an adult – for example, telling you about any swearing or bad words they find online.Set rules to make sure your child knows what information they can share or post online and the websites they can visit. This includes telling a trusted adult before posting any personal information online, including for competition entries.Encourage your child to use the same manners and communication they would use offline and remind them it’s okay to report others who aren’t being nice.

Stay involved

  • Closely monitor younger children’s internet use.
  • Try to keep the computer in a shared or visible place in the home.
  • Be aware of how your child uses the internet and explore it with them.

Proactively guide

  • Help your child understand that what they say and do online is important.
  • Encourage your child to learn about online safety with fun resources from the esafety website, like Hector’s World, Zippep’s Astro Circusand #GameOn.
  • Talk to your child about personal information and why it is special and remind them how it can be used to identify or locate them.
  • Bookmark a list of favourite sites you are comfortable with your child visiting and teach them how to access this list.
  • Consider using filters to help manage your child’s online access.

Support positively

Advise your child not to respond to any negative messages and to report any hurtful messages they receive to you or another trusted adult.

Teach your child that there are ways they can deal with material that worries or frightens them – this includes immediately telling a trusted adult of any concerns or uncomfortable material and how to close a web page or turn off a screen.

If your child shows any concerning changes in behaviour or mood then talk to them or seek professional support – Kids Helpline provides free, confidential online counselling for young people, and your school may also be able to help.

For more information visit the Australian Government’s esafety site.