With the advent of social media, smart phones and easier access to the internet, the ability of parents to monitor their children’s activity is being tested more than ever before.
It seems that there is a new app emerging almost every day: Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, Slack – keeping up with the latest method of communication is a constant battle.
So how can you make sure that your child is safe while on the web?
Firstly, be open and upfront with your child. Have a chat with them and let them know about the dangers that can lurk online. Child sex offenders can use social media to obtain information from your child that can enable contact, allowing the offender to develop a rapport and possibly seek a personal meeting with your child.
Advise your child to never divulge any personal details such as their name, date of birth, address, school etc to anyone online. They should not accept a friend request from anyone they don’t know. Your child should not share passwords with anyone.
Remind your child that they can turn off their phone or device if they feel bullied or harassed by any person.
Build trust with your child and let them know that they can confide in you if they feel uneasy about anything they receive or witness online.
Further important information, including an e-Brochure, is available from the Queensland Police service here
Police Beat is a regular monthly column provided by the Coolangatta Police Station.