Safer Internet Day is a day celebrated worldwide to promote safer use of the internet by children and adults. It is held on the first Tuesday in February each year.
As both children and adults are spending more and more time online with remote learning and keeping up with friends, this issue is ever more important.
The Safer Internet Day website has a wealth of resources to give advice to help you stay safe on the internet with advice on everything from protecting your passwords and keeping your personal and financial information safe to preventing cyberbullying and understanding how to behave courteously online.
There are resources which are appropriate for different age groups including young children, teens and adults including advice for parents on how to monitor their child's internet usage.
Equifax, who are an official supporter of Safer Internet Day, have created this infographic to help parents to keep their children safe while using the internet, and they have also produced a free booklet called How To Stay Safe Online which can be downloaded from their website.
A survey for carried out by Equifax for Safer Internet Day in 2018 showed that 80% of UK parents are oblivious to kids' social media activity
Just 30% of UK parents are 'friends with' or followers of their children’s social media accounts, and 80% of parents never check their children’s internet-enabled devices to see what they are sharing.
Internet safety expert Russell Winnard from Young Enterprise - the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity - comments that:-
"If parents are not regularly checking their children’s smartphones or tablets – not just the posts visible to those parents who do actually follow their accounts – they could be missing vital clues."
"Some parents believe they are doing their bit by following their children’s accounts, but this does not take into account the fact that a child could be putting themselves at risk with the information, messages and content they send and receive privately."
He went on to say that:-
"Another issue raised in the study is that of photos and videos being shared. Naïvely, 30% of parents believe that once a photo of their child is deleted from a social media account it is wiped from existence. That is simply not the case."
"Images can stay online indefinitely, depending on where and how they have been shared. It is also concerning to see that more than 25% of parents believe it is sometimes acceptable to share images of other people, without gaining permission."
The results of the Equifax-commissioned study also revealed that many parents are concerned about how much time their children spend online, so much so that one in five confiscate smartphones and tablets at bedtime to limit the time their children can spend online.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!