Internet Matters, Because Our Children Matter

So here’s the question, would you leave your  child alone in a hotel full of strangers’ overnight? Well I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t leave them for a minute. I don’t even allow Joe to go to the toilet alone in a supermarket.

Why? Well, it’s just not safe is it? You don’t know who is amongst us, and what their intentions are?  Our children are precious and should be protected, cared for, and who they come into contact with is closely vetted by us, their responsible parents.

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 17.47.20However I don’t know about you but both our boys have access to the Internet via tablets, P.Cs and phones. The Internet is such a wonderful place full of exciting learning opportunities. But it also has a dark side, for a parent a worrying side of life, that you never ever want your children to be aware of.


As a parent I consider it my responsibility to shield my family from this,  to be one step ahead of the game, especially with new apps and websites appearing weekly.

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 17.56.52Internet Matters is a charity that helps us parents with this; you see, I want the boys to enjoy all the opportunities that the Internet has to offer. It is an incredibly positive media if managed correctly. And Internet Matters works on the premise that knowledge and discussion are power.

It has a variety of options and covers almost every problem that can arise through Internet use, it advises parents how to recognise signs of negative Internet use. It guides on how to discuss and agree what are acceptable sites to visit, and how to restrict and monitor how your children use the Internet to keep them safe online.

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 17.05.44I will be honest it has surprised me how many types of media there are. Even toys have Internet access. It is reassuring that there is somewhere I can go to check the latest apps out, because lets face it, with all the will in the world it is so hard to keep up to date with the latest sites and apps the boys use.

I have a strict policy on social media, Joe is not allowed to use social media sites, he is only 9 and not aware of the dangers. He does have Instagram, but on the agreement it is on full privacy mode, and he only has school friends as followers. He is not allowed to follow any one without checking with us first. We have also discussed the dangers of inappropriate Internet use and bullying on online, and what to do if he is worried about anything somebody says to him.

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 16.56.05Jack however does have social media, we have discussed the dangers and the fact that he is not to talk to anybody he doesn’t know online. He also understands that we will check and monitor whom he speaks to for his own safety.

Internet matters provides comprehensive guides on all kinds of media, apps and issues that can arise and offers advice on how to deal with these issues. It’s a great place to sit down with your children and discuss safety and why it is important, what are the risks and how they can stay safe online. It also has video guides that are quick and snappy to watch yet get the point across. It really is a site that all parent no matter how pc savvy should use.

Tots 100 are hosting a Twitter chat with Stuart Miles, editor of Pocket Lint, and Internet Matters on Tuesday at 1pm. Pop along and ask any questions you have, and also check out the site as trust me as a parent I thought I was totally clued up on this, but I have learnt quite a lot about which sites to watch out for, dangers signs and how to include the boys in being aware of their own internet safety.

13 Comments

  1. 26th April 2015 / 6:49 pm

    Great post Sarah we are a way off this yet but it is good to know that companies are trying to raise awareness of these issues, my time will come before I know it!

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      26th April 2015 / 9:09 pm

      Thanks Karen, you will be surprised though there is actually a pre school section on the site which shocked me, but I suppose it is better to be aware x

  2. 26th April 2015 / 9:14 pm

    My girls aren’t at the age of social media yet thank god but I think your approach to it is really sensible I guess it’s all abit setting the boundaries from the outset great post

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      26th April 2015 / 9:16 pm

      Thanks Amy,have a look at the site, as it talks about I pad apps too and how to avoid in app purchase etc x

  3. 26th April 2015 / 9:31 pm

    Your approach is great Sarah, talking about it and keeping everything open and honest is key. It frightens me that my children are going to be getting to this stage sooner than I can blink but it is good to know there are people out their helping parents understand how to keep their family safe!

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      26th April 2015 / 10:21 pm

      Yes Katy and thank you , it is all about education from an early age, its so important that children embrace the internet but use it with the guidance of adults responsibly x

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      28th April 2015 / 9:57 pm

      Thanks Kate, yes I think trust and openness is key, its so scary but if you are involved or monitor your Childs online life then you just have to hope they are sensible and honest with you x

  4. 28th April 2015 / 11:34 pm

    Oooo I am so strict about the internet too. I used to work in court and saw all sorts of cases that had begun on the Internet. Our eldest wasn’t allow Facebook until she was 18. The littlest has just got Instagram but she is about to turn 12 but is still have the same measures as you in place. Great post to raise awareness Sarah xx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      29th April 2015 / 8:16 pm

      Thanks Lisa, I know its so scary isn’t it, but used properly can be amazing x

  5. 29th April 2015 / 8:30 am

    Great post, it’s so important I think to monitor what are children are doing online. Like you say the internet can be a wonderful thing for them but it is dangerous too. It sounds like you’re very sensible with your boys, I’m not sure how it will all be when mine are older but I will keep them away from social media for as long as I can! At the moment they only use the ipad with my supervision but it is interesting to know this great site is out there, certainly gives us an insight with regards apps. xx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      29th April 2015 / 8:21 pm

      Thanks Hayley and yes it covers all age groups so worth bookmarking, I have learnt quite a bit from it x

  6. 2nd May 2015 / 11:40 am

    Thank you for this. I am going to check the charity out and am at that point where I need to learn more. Great post.

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      2nd May 2015 / 8:53 pm

      Thanks Kirsten, yes it is so great I learn so much from the site and I thought I was clued up xx

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