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Safer Internet Day: Top tips to keep your kids safe online

The internet is an exciting place for young people, full of great learning opportunities and fun ways to communicate, but it can also be a dangerous place for kids if parents and guardians don’t take the right precautions. 
06 February 2024

Today is Safer Internet Day, a day to recognise these risks, learn how to be safe online, and find out where to go for help. To help parents support and protect their children online, Save the Children has the following tips:

  1. Approach online safety as a family. Generating an environment of safety involves everyone in the household, including parents educating their children about potentially harmful content, as well as modelling good online behaviour. Discuss what is appropriate for each person in your house depending on their age and identify resources (such as child friendly search engines) that enable each family member to engage safely online. 
  2. Talk about internet safety early on. One of the best things you can do to protect your children online is to talk about potential risks and how to avoid them early and often. Creating an environment where children feel comfortable to raise issues will help your child navigate risky situations and ensure they draw on your family’s values when they’re online.
  3. Take opportunities to learn about the digital world. When it comes to the internet, the best thing a parent can be is informed! The technological world is changing every day, and with that comes new risks. Being across new trends and developments can help minimise the risks your child encounters online and maximise their opportunities.
  4. Recognise the internet’s role in forming social connections. The internet is not just about games and knowledge. For children, going online is often a key way of forming relationships, making social connections, and figuring out where they belong. Consider the importance this holds when putting boundaries in place for your child.
  5. Remind children that a digital footprint is forever. Explain to your child that what you post online now could come back to you later, like when applying for jobs, college, or university. 
  6. It’s easy to pretend to be anyone online. Educate your child to be careful about talking to people they don't know. If they do talk with people they don’t know, tell them to never share personal information, images, or videos of themselves.
  7. Keep your connections safe. Make it difficult for scammers or predators to access your devices by keeping apps and devices secure and reviewing your privacy settings regularly.
  8. Know that you play the most crucial role in keeping your child safe. Research from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner shows that parents are an important source of support when things go wrong online, with 55% of young people who have experienced something negative online reporting that they had confided in their parents.

Save the Children’s Principal Advisor for Child Protection, Karen Flangan AM said the dangers the internet presents must be taken seriously and mitigated appropriately. 

“Along with great opportunities, the internet poses significant risks for children – but with good safeguards, parents can successfully navigate a way for their children to use the internet in beneficial ways,”  Ms Flangan said.  

“It can be hard to understand how to keep your child safe online and what advice to provide – with trends and updates continually changing – but with continued learning, engaging in ongoing, open conversations with your kids and being a safe place for them to come to with any concerns, parents are on the right path.”

Ms Flangan will be appearing at today’s 2024 USAID Protecting Children and Youth from Digital Harm Symposium, expected be the largest global event taking place on Safer Internet Day. The Symposium will provide a forum to learn, share, and engage with youth leaders, governments, civil society organizations, donors, and the private sector by exploring ways to keep children and youth safe while using digital tools, including mobile phones, computers, and the internet.


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