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Checklist for Internet Safety

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The school holidays are here! Are you ready for it?

Many parents are returning to the office while the children are off school and left to their own devices. How do we keep children and teens meaningfully engaged and safe online as they spend more time socialising and playing online games?

In a survey by Google in February 2021, 62% of Singaporean parents have expressed increased worry about online safety, and their top concerns include protecting children’s privacy and security online, spotting and preventing children from participating in scams, and ensuring that they do not overshare personal information online.

Internet Awesome, a website by Google is filled with conversation starters, games, and activities that you can use to chat with your children about how to use the internet responsibly. Check out their Internet Code of Awesome, which are summarised as follows:

  • Be internet SMART – Share with care (Communicate Responsibly)

  • Be internet ALERT – Don’t fall for fakes

  • Be internet SECURE – Secure your secrets

  • Be internet KIND – It’s cool to be kind

  • Be internet BRAVE – When in doubt, talk it out

Go through this simple checklist to know if your family is ready for the increasing time children spend online.

  • I have set up parental controls, and privacy settings on broadband networks, gadgets, apps, and sites to give them a safer online experience.

  • I have set up password control so that children will discuss with me what app or games they wish to download.

  • I have disabled in-app purchases, so big bills will not run up unintentionally.

  • I have talked to my child about online safety issues. This link provides a guide to having a conversation with your children on the relevant topics.

  • I am aware that most social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat require users to be at least 13 years old before they can sign up for an account.

  • I have spoken to my child about social media accounts and checked their profile and privacy settings to ensure that they do not share their personal or private information with people they do not know.

The school holiday is a welcome break for many children and parents. It is a wonderful opportunity to recharge and spend quality time together to explore the physical and online world. But for busy parents who need to juggle the demands of work and child minding, I trust that these tips will help keep your children safe as they navigate the cyber world. Happy Holidays!

For more resources on how to keep your children safe online, check out:

  1. https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/en_us/

  2. https://www.internetmatters.org/

  3. http://www.safekids.com

  4. http://www.kidsmart.org.uk

  5. http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/net_safety.html

If you would like to have more parenting support, register your interest at https://go.fycs.org/PSS, email us at [email protected] or call 88694006. Our parenting support services are offered free. 

Written by: Poh Ee-Lyn, Senior Social Worker and Parent Coach, Fei Yue Community Services