Safe to surf


Is your child safe online? Even little ones are doing a fair bit of learning online now and it’s sensible for parents to make sure their learning environment is as watertight as it can be. To give families a steer, UK broadband comparison site have put together the following tips:

Keep the device in a common room of the house

Whether your child is using a borrowed laptop, desktop computer or tablet, keep their ‘online time’ in a common area in your home where you can check on them. If you are working from home, you could set up your child’s workspace next to yours, where you can keep an eye on what they’re doing.

Have set ‘online times’

The amount of time your child stays online is at your discretion, but setting a limit on this is sensible practice. Agree a time that you allow your child to access the internet and set a timer so that everyone’s clear when that time is up.

Set phones to automatically forget wifi

If children are allowed to own their own mobile phone, you can limit the time they spend on the internet by setting their phones to automatically forget wifi. This allows you to agree time they are able to spend online, while preventing them from accessing the internet when they are not supposed to be.

Set parental controls

Whether this be on the device, on the broadband or mobile data package itself, setting parental controls will prevent kids from accessing anything they shouldn’t be while browsing the internet.

Check privacy settings

Ensure these are always turned on, and when children are old enough, teach them to check their settings themselves. Make sure all social media and other apps have privacy settings set up, and any apps with ‘geo-location’ (such as Snapchat) have this turned off.

Talk to them

One of the best ways to ensure that children are staying safe online is to talk to them. In an age-appropriate way, make them aware of the dos and don’ts of being online, and caution them about what they are reading, watching and communicating.