You are here

My digital life

Image: public domain

Be Strong Online Parent Info sheet: My Digital Life

There are lots of positive aspects of the internet: it can help young people make friends, express themselves, learn, keep in touch with family. When used responsibly and in moderation it can be a lot of fun as well. With the help of Parent Zone, we’ve compiled some top tips below to help you support your child’s use of the internet and technology.

Get involved: Sit down with your son or daughter as soon as they get their new phone and have a look at the different features together. Have a go with using some of the technologies your child enjoys – if you haven’t already, set up a Facebook profile, play a game on a games console or download some music.

Find out what they have learned this week: ask your child to teach you something new about the tech they’re using on a regular basis. But don’t forget that they’ll still need your guidance to make good decisions when using the internet.

Set boundaries: Establish some rules about which apps and websites your child can access, who they can contact and how they should behave on when using the internet.

Use safety tools: Set up parental controls on their smartphone or tablet so you can block access to inappropriate content and put time limits in place. My Digital Life Parent Information Sheet

Protect their privacy: Consider whether you’re happy for your child to share their location with others via Bluetooth and location services within apps and have a chat about the privacy tools that are available on services like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

Minimise costs: Limit access to apps and in-app purchases and set their phone to default to Wi-Fi whenever it’s available so that you don’t get a shock when your bill arrives.

Avoid theft: Explain to your child why they should look after their device like they do their purse or wallet – it’s valuable both in terms of cost and the personal information stored on it. Get them to set a passcode and auto-lock on their screen and for smartphones they should keep a note of the IMEI serial number (you can find this in Settings>General or by dialling *#06# into the phone) in case it gets stolen.

Set usage limits: agree on some family rules, such as no phones at the table or no tech after a certain time, to help keep a balance between the online and offline worlds.

My Tech Family

Take some time to look at the My Tech Family activities on the Vodafone website. They may help you explore the online world safely as a family while learning and enjoying a range of digital activities together. Help your children understand the digital world we live in today and how to get the best from technology by checking out the activities here:

https://www.vodafone.com/content/parents/mytechfamily.html

 More Information

The pages below offer lots of useful advice about security, privacy and more:

http://www.vodafone.com/parents

 http://vodafonedigitalparenting.co.uk

http://parentzone.org.uk/

https://parentinfo.org/

https://www.getsafeonline.org/

If bullying is one of your biggest concerns, take a look at our anti-bullying guidance on page 28 of Vodafone’s Digital Parenting magazine or download our free Be Strong Online resources here:

http://www.antibullyingpro.com/vodafone-sign-up

Be Strong Online is a peer-to-peer programme for school students created by Vodafone, The Diana Award, in collaboration with Parent Zone. Find out more.