Keeping Children and Young People Safe online

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The internet is now one of the key causes of concern for parents and carers. It can feel very daunting when you hear about new apps. What do they do? Are they safe? Should children in my care be using them?

Even when you think you have figured one network out, they have already moved onto to the next big thing. And with children and young people now spending more time online than ever, how can you ensure they are safe online?

Talk

The best strategy is to ask the children in your care what they are doing online. What apps are they using and who they are communicating with.

Research 

As hard as it may be, try to keep up to date with what apps or platforms are popular. Download them and try to get a feel of what they are being used for. The technology section of the BBC News site often explains the latest trends.

The Apple app store or the Google Play store charts can often show which apps are currently popular

Set up parental controls.

Most Internet service providers (ISPs) now offer a great range of parental controls including safe search, which prevents young people from viewing adult content, block dangerous sites and allow you to set up time limits.

You also have the freedom to unblock sites and block sites that to you feel are inappropriate.

Resources

There are some great resources online including the following:

https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/foster-carers-and-adoptive-parents

Safer Internet have a section on their website specifically for Foster Carers and adoptive parents

https://www.net-aware.org.uk

Net Aware is good at staying on top of the latest apps and trends. If you use this site, you will never be too far behind.

https://www.internetmatters.org

Internet Matters allows you to search by age, allowing you to quickly find information about what the children in your care are doing online.