When it comes to parenting online, it can seem like a no-man's land. Parents today didn't grow up with the internet and social networking sites – certainly not all the services used today, at least.
So, how do you protect your child whilst giving them the freedom to explore and experience the internet?
Technology can be a very useful tool, but it is not a parental substitute. It's a good idea to set up the parental controls on your security software to give yourself peace of mind, as is having a candid chat with your children laying down ground rules for internet usage. Check out www.internetmatters.org for up-to-date guidance and tips on how to keep your kids safe online.
TalkTalk have tools that provide complete online security for your family. Here are some key tips on how to use them:
1) Turn on HomeSafe to keep your kids safe from dodgy websites at home. HomeSafe will block unwanted content reaching any device on your wi-fi connection. Then download SuperSafe Boost to do the same on their mobile and tablets when out of the home (on mobile networks or public Wi-Fi). Eight-device protection is £2 per month (and it's worth £99 a year). Log in to My Account, select the package you want and you will receive an email from F-Secure to install it on your device for full protection.
2) If you worry that your child spends too much time on the internet, you can set time limits across all of their devices. For all devices connected to your home wi-fi, you can turn on the Homework Time feature in HomeSafe. For your child's mobile and tablet when they're out of the home, you can use the 'browsing time limits' in SuperSafe. These allow you to set how many hours a day your child can spend on the internet wherever they are, or you can set a time range, so that they can't be online after bedtime.
3) Password-protect your app purchases and don't give your kids the password. That way they won't surprise you with a huge bill for app and in-app purchases they make.
4) Make sure everyone's devices are password-protected. This will make it harder for thieves to use a stolen device. TalkTalk's SuperSafe comes with extra security for mobiles. One of the features allows you to locate, lock and wipe the data on a stolen or lost Android device. Losing your phone is bad enough, but when your passwords, photos and personal information also fall into the wrong hands, the results can be far worse.