The internet is like a magician's hat
And if you're worried what your kids will find inside, read our dos and don'ts for keeping your kids safe.
Get peace of mind
Read our simple guide to getting your kids online, safely
Decide what steps to take so your kids can enjoy the internet
Keep an eye on their activity and see our NSPCC pages for info on new trends
Do: Get ready to explore
Keeping your kids safe online can be a bit of a daunting topic, but we're here to help. Have a chat with one of our Gurus about what steps you can take to protect your kids. Like using our Parental Control service. It blocks sites that are inappropriate for under-12s, as long as they're not using wifi. And you can check with you broadband provider to see if they've got parental controls you can opt into as well. We've even got a tool that lets you check whether websites are suitable for kids, so you can make sure they're only accessing appropriate content.
Don't: Forget to establish ground rules
No one wants to spend all their time nagging the kids about running up a big bill or missing out on the family time because they're glued to their phone. By setting ground rules, you can make sure everyone in the family is clear on what's expected. Perhaps phones and tablets are banned from mealtimes but are allowed in the mornings before breakfast? Make sure you have a conversation with your kids so you can agree on the boundaries together. And remember, this is an agreement for the whole family. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the NSPCC’s advice on how to talk to your kids about online safety.
Do: Download the right apps
There are plenty of apps available that make it easy to keep the kids entertained, safely. For younger children, try out YouTube Kids. It filters out inappropriate content, including comments, and only plays adverts that are kid friendly. Azoomee is a tablet app designed for kids under 11, with episodes, games, audiobooks and more. The best bit? The kids can't leave the app without your say so. And for older kids, Silent Secrets is an app that lets them share their feelings and ideas anonymously. So they don't have to worry about being judged. We've worked with the NSPCC to put together a guide to social networks too, so you can understand how your kids are communicating with their friends through different apps.
Don't: Assume the internet is all bad
Yes, it's good to be aware of the risks the internet can pose. But getting online can open up all sorts of opportunities for your kids. YouTube is a great place for teens to find role models and learn. Just look at YouTube channels like The Mile Long Bookshelf or Geek Gurl Diaries, which offer a fun way to learn about books and science. Games like Pokémon Go can encourage your kids to get active and connect with their friends. And when it's time to knuckle down, there are loads of apps that can help your kids with their homework. Tinycards is perfect for revising, and there are plenty of apps that will give your teen access to a scientific calculator, like PCalc Lite and RealCalc Scientific Calculator.
Do: Read our online safety articles
We've teamed up with the NSPCC to help keep your kids safe. We've got plenty of articles about online safety, from knowing the signs of online bullying to avoiding unexpected charges. Take a look at our articles to get up to speed. Prefer to speak to someone? We've set up a free helpline for parents and kids. Whether you're worried about what your kids are doing online or just need a hand with privacy settings, we're here to help. Give us a ring on 0808 800 5002. Or you can book a free appointment with an O2 Guru. They're our friendly tech experts, and they know all about keeping kids safe online. Watch the video to see how our Gurus could help you to keep your child's devices secure.
Do: Make sure you get them the right device
It's a good idea to chat to an O2 Guru about the right phone or tablet for your little one. We think the ZTE Blade A110 is a great first smartphone for kids, as it's compact and easy to use. And you can get it on Pay As You Go, to avoid a nasty bill shock. Or if it's a tablet you're after, have a look at our Alcatel Family Tablet Bundle. It comes with a case and screen protector to keep it safe from bumps and scrapes. And you'll get a 24 month subscription to the Azoomee apps, so they'll get to access all sorts of kid-friendly content.
The children pictured are models.
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