One concern we regularly hear about from parents relates to their children accessing inappropriate content when they are online. Parents are often worried that their child may purposely or indeed inadvertently access information and/or images that are not age appropriate and in some cases may even be pornographic. Using safety settings is one way to help to keep your child safe while they are online.

While there is no safety setting or safety software that we have come across which is 100% effective, they are there to complement what you teach your child about Internet safety and to reduce the risk of serious harm. We like to think of them as online training stabilizers; while they will not prevent a fall, they will reduce the risk of a fall substantially and improve the chance of staying upright dramatically. Don’t forget to use safety setting across all of your digital devices and not just one.

Research the safety options with your Internet Provider: The company who you use to provide your internet connection may well have additional options for internet safety. They may be unaware of your needs as a family so it is certainly worth contacting them to ask what safety options they have available for families with multiple digital devices.

Regularly update your passwords: For convenience, we all tend to use the same password across numerous devices. It is a good idea, particularly for protecting a family, that you change your passwords regularly. This decreases the chances of your child discovering or figuring out the password. It also improves overall online safety for everyone.

Remember that every device operates slightly differently: This may sound obvious but where online safety is concerned it is very important.  Not only can devices differ but there can be differences between different versions of the same device. Familiarising yourself with your own mobile device and running regular software updates is another way to increase protection.

Have separate accounts for children: Children should have separate accounts on digital devices where possible, to enable you to have safety settings in place without restricting your own usage or compromising your files or data. For younger children you should know what passwords they are using. For older children it is a good idea to encourage them to share passwords as a way for you to ensure that they staying safe online.

Inappropriate content is often used as an umbrella term to cover a range of topics deemed unsuitable for children. But there is no short answer when it comes to what constitutes inappropriate content, as it depends on the parent, as well as the maturity and age of the child in question.

Remember, conversation is the key when it comes to inappropriate content – speak to your child early on about the types of inappropriate content that they may come across and explain why it is inappropriate. Empower your child to recognise potential threats when it comes to inappropriate content.

Also try not to openly panic, regardless of what your child tells you about something they have seen online – this will cause them to panic, to retreat into themselves or to internalise the topic they were broaching is a taboo subject that should not be discussed

Given the understandable concerns that parents have in relation to the use of safety settings and the potential to access inappropriate content, we have produced a number of Zeeko videos focusing on how to use safety settings. You can view these in the links below.

YouTube Safety Settings by Zeeko:

Instagram Safety Settings by Zeeko:

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