An easy to use book to help you and your children keep them safe on the Internet. Practical, with real-world examples, and guidelines to arm your kids for safe, independent Internet browsing.
The Internet is a force for good for kids, with enormous scope for learning, and for constructive and creative play. But there are also many ways children can get into trouble, often unwittingly. Without some level of caution, children may be exposed to a variety of dangers and inappropriate content. The authors have seen sad cases of what can go wrong when unprepared kids are victims of cyber-bullying and online grooming.
They wrote this guide on e-safety for kids precisely because they believe children should be able to make the most of what the Internet offers while staying safe.
The book explains the essential principles for kids to stay safe on the Internet. Teaching them the principles is vital – it will mean they can spot danger when you’re not looking over their shoulders, and will also allow them to stay safer as the Internet evolves and new sites and apps come out.
But guidelines alone aren’t enough. So there are many specific scenarios of what to look out for, using many of the more popular Internet sites and apps as examples.
Bearing in mind that kids today will also likely access the Internet on their (or their friends’) smartphones, there are also sections specifically for staying safe on smartphones.
- The Bare Essentials. A summary of all the guidelines for parents. Quick and easy to read, this will set you up if you really have no time to look into more detail. Though we recommend you do!
- The Children’s Guide. This part is for kids. Written in child-friendly language, we’d still recommend you go through it with them to ensure they understand. As it’s a separate section, you can even print it out for them on its own.
- The Parent’s Guide. The core of the book, split as follows:
- Preparation. Things you should think through beforehand. Such as whether you have a rule about where they access the Internet from at home.
- Principles. The key principles your kids should understand. Such as never meeting with anyone in real life that they’ve only met online without your explicit say-so. For each principle, we highlight what you should watch out for, give specific examples (e.g. if they’re on Twitter), and help you with a clear message for your child.
- Principles for smartphones. Additional considerations for mobiles, again, with what to watch out for, examples (e.g. on Instagram), and message for your kids.
- Resources. A set of resources you may want to look at, ranging from places to report abuse, to websites that give you a rundown on safety for the latest apps for kids, through to sites to reinforce the messages for your kids.
This book is not…
… a blow by blow account of every site or app. There’s a reference to sites with updated info, but they change so quickly that a book’s not the best way to do that.
… enough! It supports you so you know what to look for, but you still need to be involved!
About the authors
Online Safety for Kids comes from Freaky Rivet, the safe, ad-free, online club where kids reward each other for doing activities in the real world. We’re building an online community of kids who want to balance technology and the Internet with real-world activity, growth, and hobbies. Our co-founders, Kevin and Iyas, are on a mission to get kids moving, creating and exploring. One is a teacher of thousands of kids and provider of educational support to many more. The other is a techie dad of four, founder of a children’s charity, and school governor. Needless to day, they’ve looked to apply all the principles here to ensure Freaky Rivet itself is safe.