The Cornwall Police Service would like to encourage parents to talk with their children about social media and online safety.
The internet has become a valuable communication, research, and entertainment tool for many people. While the internet and social media offers a number of benefits, there are also many dangers present in cyberspace that are aimed at targeting both, adults and youth.
The Cornwall Police Service would like to offer the following tips for parents to assist with reducing the risks associated to their children’s social media use.
1) Be aware – Have an understanding of what your children are doing on their devices and talk to them about it. Honest and frequent discussions about their online activity will encourage your child to feel confident in talking about any issues they experience online and through social media. Make computers and devices only accessible in open areas of your residence as opposed to in your child’s bedroom.
2) Review device settings and set-up parental controls – This will help restrict the content that your child can view or access and assist you in monitoring their activity. You can also prevent apps such as Youtube from auto-playing suggested videos that have not been directly selected.
3) Report and block sensitive content – Flag and report any online material you deem to be inappropriate or harmful. Block the account to prevent your child from viewing it.
4) Talk to your child about peer pressure – Trends and viral challenges can be tempting for children to participate in. Encourage your child not to do anything they are not comfortable with, online and offline. Children should also be encouraged to talk to you or another trusted adult when they are unsure, as well as not to believe everything they see or read on the internet.