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Bunscoil Chríost Rí, Turner's Cross, Cork
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Webwise's Top Internet Safety Tips for Parents

Check out our top internet safety advice to make sure going online is a positive experience for you and your child

No.1 : Discover the Internet together 

  • Be the one to introduce your child to the Internet. For both parent and child it is an advantage to discover the internet together. Try to find websites that are exciting and fun so that together you achieve a positive attitude to internet exploration. This could make it easier to share both positive and negative experiences in the future

No.2 :Agree with your child rules for Internet use in your home 

  • Try to reach an agreement with your child on the guidelines which apply to internet use in your home. Here are some tips to get started
  • Discuss when and for how long it is acceptable for your child to use the Internet 
  • Agree how to treat personal information (name, address, telephone, e-mail) 
  • Discuss how to behave towards others 
  • Agree what type of sites and activities are OK or not OK 
  • Follow the rules yourself! Or at least explain why the rules are different for adults.

No.3 :Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information 

  • A simple rule for younger children should be that the child should not give out their name, phone number or photo without your approval. Older children using social networking sites like Facebook should be encouraged to be selective about what personal information and photos they post to online spaces. Regardless of privacy settings, once material is online you can no longer control who sees it or how it is used.

No.4 :Talk about the risks associated with meeting online "friends" in person 

  • Adults should understand that the internet can be a positive meeting place for children, where they can get to know other young people and make new friends. However, for safety and to avoid unpleasant experiences, it is important that children do not meet strangers they have met online without being accompanied by an adult you trust. In any case, the child should always have their parents' approval first. In addition, it is also a good idea to have a fail-safe plan in place such as calling them shortly after the meeting begins so that they can bail out if they feel uncomfortable

No.5 : Teach your child about evaluating information and being critically aware of information they find online

  • Most children use the Internet to improve and develop their knowledge in relation to schoolwork and personal interests. Children should be aware that not all information found online is correct, accurate or relevant. Show your child how to check information they find by comparing it to alternative sources on the same topic. Show them trusted sites they can use to compare information

No.6 :Don't be too critical towards your child's exploration of the Internet 

  • Children may come across adult material by accident on the web. Also, a child may intentionally search for such web sites; remember that it is natural for children to be curious about off- limits material. Try to use this as an opening to discuss the content with them, and perhaps make rules for this kind of activity. Be realistic in your assessment of how your child uses the Internet

No.7 :Let your children show you what they like to do online 

  • To be able to guide your child it is important to understand how children use the internet and know what they like to do online
  • Let your child show you which websites they like visiting and what they do there

No.8 :Remember that the positive aspects of the internet outweigh the negatives

  • The internet is an excellent educational and recreational resource for children. Encourage your child to make the most of it and explore the internet to its full potential


It is never too early to think about your child's safety online. If you are a parent of a young child who is just starting to discover the online world, there are a few things to consider

Talk about Internet Safety with your Child 

Have a conversation with your child on some of the important things to watch out for when going online for the first time. Young children will not be aware of the dangers, so it is very important to talk with them about who they talk to and about sharing personal information online

Use Parental Controls 

Most internet technologies have built-in controls that allow you to limit the amount of time your child can spend online, restrict their access to adult content, and switch off functions like shopping and chatting. Filtering controls are particularly useful at preventing young children from accidentally encountering content that might bother them

Disable In-App Purchases 

Many apps and games give their users the option of buying additional game functionality, additional points/bonuses, and a host of other extras. Children can easily make purchases without even realising. You can disable in-app purchases using your phone or device settings

Activate Safe Search 

Help minimise the risk of your child coming across inappropriate content in response to search queries by activating "safe search" in your search engine

Agree on what to do when things go wrong 

We recommend that you speak to your child about what to do if they come across something on the internet that bothers them

This could be closing the laptop lid or turning off the screen and coming to get you

Set Up a Family Email 

Set up a family email address that your children can use when signing up to new games and websites online

Play it Safe 

For young children we recommend that parents choose safe and appropriate games for their child to play online. Most games have a rating you can check to see if they are age appropriate. You should also check if a game allows for player interaction and if there is a safe chat mode