Online – Phones, Computers, Games and The Internet
The internet provides outstanding opportunities for learning, communicating and having fun. There are some things you can do to help minimise the risk of 'grooming' and sexual abuse online:
- Stay connected with your child's online life. Ask what they like doing online, who they enjoy talking to etc. Most abusers online will try to isolate children from protective adults in their life.
- Get them to show you their favourite game / activity - they are more likely to tell you if something is going wrong if they feel like you understand the environment a little.
- Don't take technology off them if they tell you about something that is going wrong online (instead, praise them for coming to you!). Many children and young people will keep secrets about what is happening online if they are worried adults will overreact or restrict access to technology.
- Find out about grooming online from Netsafe's website and learn how to protect yourself from grooming online.
- Encourage children and young people to protect their personal information online and talk with them about their 'digital footprint' (you can cover topics like, choosing an online name, what counts as 'personal information', sexting etc.).
- If your child is under 5 years old, find out more about online safety for younger children through Hector's World.