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Parenting in the Digital Age

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At British International School Hanoi we encourage responsible and safe use of the Internet. The Internet can be an amazing place where young people can research, connect, communicate and be creative in so many ways. However, the Internet can contain some serious dangers and this is especially true as technology continues to change and become more advanced.

This page contains advice and guidance to help you support your child to become safe and responsible users of the Internet.

Responsible use
Sometimes, being behind a screen can create a false sense of security, where people feel anonymous and hidden from the outside world. Your child needs to understand that their online activity can have an impact on themselves, on others and their digital footprint. They should think very carefully before they post content online because once posted, it can be shared and then it’s impossible to be fully deleted. It’s important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that they may have posted. When using the internet, it’s important to keep personal information safe and not share it with strangers. Discuss with your child the importance of reporting inappropriate conversations, messages, images and behaviours and how this can be done.

Access to content
Some online content is not suitable for children and may be hurtful or harmful. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. It’s important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias. Children may need your help as they begin to assess content in this way. There can be legal consequences for using or downloading copyrighted content, without seeking the author’s permission.

It is recommended that you install a parental control service on your digital devices at home. This will enable you to monitor your child's internet activity and also block any inappropriate websites from being accessed at home. A simple internet search will provide you with numerous parent control service providers. Here are two providers, you may wish to consider:

www.netnanny.com

www.qustodio.com

Contact with strangers
Many websites, gaming providers and social media services enable contact with strangers. It is really important that your child is aware that these people may not be genuine. They should be aware that when you “accept” someone as a friend on these websites it may provide strangers with personal information. Sharing photos and videos online can often invite comments and contact from others, including strangers, so encourage your child to consider the motivation behind the message. Has someone commented on their photo to genuinely say something positive, or are they making contact to try and gain their trust? Some videos and picture also use geo-tagging whereby the location of the picture is shared. This makes it very easy to build up knowledge about somebody and know where they are located. Therefore, your child should be aware of the importance of not sharing their personal information online. They should also be very careful about who is on their friends list. If they don’t know the person offline, they are probably not a genuine friend. Regularly reviewing website friend lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Your child should ensure that they have high privacy settings for any websites that they regularly use. 

Reporting concerns
Your child should know who they could speak to if they experience anything that concerns them online. Reinforce with your child the importance of telling a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying them or making them feel uncomfortable, or if one of their friends is being bullied online. Please speak to us at school if you need any further support with e-safety matters.

Conversations starters to help you discuss online activity with your child
What do you enjoy doing online? 
What websites and apps do you like?
Is there any websites or apps you think we can enjoy as a family?
How do you stay safe online? Do you have tips for me that you have learnt in school?
Who would you speak to if something online made feel uncomfortable?

Other useful links

http://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers

https://www.fosi.org/good-digital-parenting/

 

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