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If you don’t understand what your child is doing online, then try it. One of the easiest ways to understand their experience is to explore it yourself, and in the process it improves your digital parenting knowledge. Get some tips on how to explore the technology in this section of the Online Safety Parent Toolkit.
WHERE TO START
- Explore the websites, apps and technology your child uses. One of the most useful things parents can do to understand what their children are doing online is to try and explore relevant technologies for themselves. That means, having a go using the same products that kids are. Exploring for yourself will significantly improve knowledge and awareness of the types of challenges young people face when they go online.
- Don’t ignore new technologies. If you don’t take an interest or explore them yourself your young people will use them – if not at home then at their friends’ houses or at school and it will be harder for them to talk to you.
- Ask your child to show you how their favourite website or device works. This is a great way to start an online safety conversation with your child and to spend time together doing something they enjoy while you get to explore. Ask them to explain how they keep themselves safe, what features they use and how they protect their identity. This is also a great way to understand what knowledge they have and where you can best offer some guidance to help them have a safer experience. It’s easy to feel that our tamariki know more about the latest technology, but parents have more life experience to guide them. Having some base knowledge is crucial.
- Make sure you also take the time to read terms and conditions. The T&Cs explain how old someone should be before they start using the service and what happens to the information your child provides. This is very important when it comes to understanding what permissions different apps are asking for when they are installed on your device or your child’s.
Online Safety Parent Toolkit
You’re currently within the ‘Explore’ section of our Online Safety Parent Toolkit where we encourage discovery of the sites and apps your child is using.
This is the third step in our seven-step framework designed to help parents and whānau with digital parenting in a rapidly changing world. We recommend reading through each step of the Toolkit as this will guide you on how to support your child to confidently access digital opportunities and reduce online harm.
If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
- Online report at netsafe.org.nz/report
- Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282