Parents play an integral role in helping to provide safe and positive experiences online.
This can be achieved by being aware of what your son’s online activities involve and some of the risks he may face. By taking an interest in your son’s online activities and monitoring what they do, you can both experience the benefits offered by the online world.
- There is no requirement for the device to be used solely for homework – the majority of resources can be accessed via internet links on the home computer.
- Research shows that mobile devices inhibit sleep – encourage your son to put his device on charge at the completion of homework and spend time talking or reading.
- Specify where in the house mobile devices will be charged – maybe in the kitchen or your bedroom.
- Set time limits for use of mobile devices.
- Don’t be afraid to remove the device from your son.
- Talk about what you son is doing on the internet – ask questions that show you are interested rather than interrogating.
- Device use should be in a communal and visible area where you can monitor how long your son is online and what activities he is engaging in.
- Remember that most phones also have access to the internet and social networking – these also need to be monitored.
Share the Experience
- Ask your son to show you what they have been doing with their device at school.
- Get your son to teach you how to do something on his/your device.
- Focus on the positive aspects of what the internet can offer. Spend time looking at fun, interesting and educational sites together or compete against each other in educational games.
- Have a play with the device yourself so you are familiar with what it does and some of the features.
- Have discussions about the validity of information on the internet and the fact that not everything is appropriate.
- Help your son identify unsuitable material by participating in their online time and discussing sites that may contain scary concepts, inappropriate pictures or words.
- Educate your son on why it is important not to put personal information on the internet – show them safe sites, explain privacy settings and work through them together so they understand what and why they should be enabled.
- Investigate the availability of home internet filtering options.
- Parental Controls are available on most devices. The availability and features of such programmes are constantly changing.
- Please be aware that by enabling parental controls you can block features that will be required by your son at school.
- If think your child is immediate danger contact the Police.
- If you have found any material online you believe is prohibited or inappropriate you should contact the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority www.acma.gov.au
- www.thinkuknow.org.au/site/report.asp provides information and facilities to help you report inappropriate, harmful or criminal activities that occur online or via a mobile device.
- If another student is involved please contact your Pastoral or House Guardian.