Thinkuknow; keeping your children safe online

A VPN is an essential component of IT security, whether you’re just starting a business or are already up and running. Most business interactions and transactions happen online and VPN

As a parent, I am often stunned at the IT skills my kids have developed. My seven-year-old daughter is perfectly competent using a PC or tablet computer and her three-year-old sister isn’t that far behind.

online safety, computers, internet safety, National Crime Agency, Thinkuknow
Do you have concerns about what your children get up to online? The National Crime Agency has loads of advice and help for parents and youngsters.

Under close supervision, both children access the internet. I remember a time when parents were told not to let kids anywhere near computers. Such an approach is just not feasible in the modern era, although the risks posed online are a major worry for me and all other parents.

Thankfully, the the National Crime Agency is able to offer some help and assistance. It is running an online safety campaign called Thinkuknow. The idea is to help parents take action to keep their kids safe when using the Internet.

A range of advice is available on its website. It is tailored to meet the needs of children of various ages; five to seven years old, eight to ten years old, eleven to thirteen years old and fourteen years and above. There are also various pointers for parents, such as how to report issues to social media operators and how to inform the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) of a serious incident.

The campaign has a particular focus; it wants mums and dads to openly discuss sex and relationships with their children and how, in the modern age, these issues relate to the Internet (for instance, how to spot the signs of grooming and the risks of posting intimate material online).

As part of the campaign, a clever video has been produced in which the story of Romeo and Juliet is retold on social media. Click on the link below to watch for yourself, I hope you’ll agree it’s been put together with great skill.

Do you have concerns about online security and what your children get up to online? Have you spoken to your kids about what behavior is and is not acceptable on social media and the internet? Please do leave a comment below, it would be great to know how other families handle such issues.

Disclosure; this is a commissioned post.

48 thoughts on “Thinkuknow; keeping your children safe online”

  1. Jessica McDonnell

    This is such a great post. It’s so important, now more than ever before to keep kids safe online.

    1. Thanks Jessica, it is such a vital topic and parents need to discuss these these things with their kids.

  2. Such a good post. I remember being younger and feeling annoyed and confused at the fact my parents wanted to monitor what I was looking at online (even though it was mostly fashion games and MSN!) but now I completely get it. My little brother is just 3 and he’s very good on computers and iPads too, so we try to be extra careful in monitoring exactly what he has access to!

    1. Oh you can never be too sure what little ones are up to. Rare indeed is the parent who hasn’t discovered their offspring trying to download new apps and games!

  3. I think being open and honest with children is the best thing you can do for them to protect them. It’s naive to think not talking can protect their innocence because unfortunately innocence doesn’t last long with this generation 🙁

    1. I think kids have ot be educated. Fail to do so and you could cause yourself and your kids all sorts of trouble.

  4. What a fab post – my kids are a bit young at 5 and under but we still talk about “bad people” out there and how you should never, ever, ever talk to someone you don’t know online without checking with mummy or daddy first, never set up chat groups for your games etc… I’m hoping the “install it young” philosophy helps!

    1. Having honest conversations at a young age is so vital. I think you are definitely doing the correct thing.

  5. This is so important to keep children safe on the internet. It really does scare me for when my kids start using it. Luckily it won’t be for a long time.

    1. My daughter first started using the Internet when she was three. She got hold of my phone and having seen me use it, had memorised the pass code. I was having a shower or cooking food or distracted by something. I went upstairs after it had been quiet for just a bit too long and there she was, lying on the floor on the landing with my phone playing a kids’ app. That was four years ago.

  6. Such an important post to share. I think that the internet is a really scary place for kids as theres so much out there that can hinder them but lots to benefit from online too. They need to understand how to keep themselves safe with a little help from parental controls! xxx

    1. You’re absolutely correct, it’s about education and help. Try and ban kids from using this technology and it’ll backfire on you.

    1. The internet is certainly a place that has to be monitored and children need to be educated about it.

  7. We still regularly check our 14yo’s phone and she knows that they are the rules of her being allowed a phone. Our 10yo has unwittingly clicked on daft sites before now but panics and tells us straightaway. I dread all 3 of mine being on SM – Will take up all my time monitoring what they are up to!

  8. Being a shakespeare fan, that video really made me laugh! What a great way to get kids to be aware online! I so glad you added the video to this post!

    1. Ah ha, a Shakespeare fan responds! Glad you liked it, the concept of that video is marvellous isn’t it?

  9. Such a valuable post! Many don’t consider childs safety online, even if they are just playing games.
    I really do annoy my older boys, I check EVERYTHING and it’s always ‘Muuuuuum, I need my privacy’ ‘Er no you don’t, not until you are old enough to understand the dangers’ ‘But Muuuum I do…’ ‘NO’
    That is the usual conversation in my household haha

  10. I do think it is worrying how much information is readily available at the click of a button and as with all lessons in life, keeping safe online is just as important as it is offline x

  11. My husband and I both have an IT background so the boys have been brought up using IT from when they were teeny. I’ve always made a point to have lots of very open conversation with them about the risks on the internet, as well as keeping myself up to date with what the latest apps etc are

  12. Michelle Evans

    Thinkuknow is a brilliant resource that is easy to access. There are a few others too which are equally easy to find via search engines.

    I am of a social work background and am in my third year of delivering training around internet safety and exploitation awareness.

    Having worked with so many families the ones that are of concern to me are those children and young people whose parents DON’T use the internet.

    It’s easy to forget that technology scares the living daylights out of some people and I have come across a great number of families where parents struggle to switch on a computer – Indeed my own mother has trouble getting her head around buying stuff online because she thinks you need a PayPal account. Trying to tell her otherwise is pointless. The mere suggestion of her opening a PayPal account sends her into meltdown!

    In order to try to help address this I have developed a programme that i deliver to parents and sessions are offered as part of our local adult learning centres’ ICT programme. I also try to reach parents through schools although turnout isn’t always great.

    1. That’s a fascinating comment Michelle about it being the parents that don’t use the Internet that are of most concern. It’s a very interesting perspective and I can imagine that being the case. Keep up the good work with your training and thank you for commenting.

  13. My youngest two are 5 and 6 and often play games on their tablets and go on kids youtube, but I always make sure I am in the room with them so I can keep an eye on them. My eledest is 11, and he is always online talking to his friends, but I know all his passwords and he lets me check what he’s up to.

    1. Out of interest, have you discovered YouTube Kids? You might find that useful for your youngest. It has its own free app in the iOS and Android app stores.

  14. Orville Haggans

    Before doing anything, take a deep breath and try to remain calm. There’s lots of information and advice on this site to help you keep your child safe and access support. Further support if you are concerned about your child.

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