In this concluding part of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) series on ‘Keep Children Safe Online’ in partnership with the Cece Yara Foundation, we shall focus on four key things that will help you as a parent or caregiver to achieve the aims of this campaign.
Four tips to help protect your children online
1. Build trust by keeping communication open and supportive:
Your child knows they can come to you if something goes wrong or does not feel right online.
Therefore, watch TV, play games and enjoy digital platforms with your children.
Also, make out time to discuss online opportunities, entertainment, learning and risks.
2. Be the parent, offline and online, by setting limits, controls and standards:
Set time limits for all activities, including online activities. Balance screen time with other activities.
Set location for device use. Where possible, use desktops not mobile devices. Keep devices away from private locations like bedrooms.
Set up parental controls and filters for harmful content.
Have clear agreements on online activities.
And be alert to signs of distress or problems.
3. Make sure your child/children understand(s) the ‘SMART RULES’:
S: Safe- Do not give out personal information when chatting or uploading online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and passwords.
M: Meeting- Meeting someone you have only been chatting with online can be unsafe.
A: Accepting– Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or text messages from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems; they may contain viruses or horrible messages.
R: Reliable– Someone online might lie about who they are and the information on the internet may not be true. Always check information with other websites, books or someone who is knowledgeable. If you like chatting online it’s best to only chat with real world friends and family.
T: Tell– Tell your parent or trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.
4. Lead by example:
Use devices responsibly.
Show respect in your online platform language and content.
Help your child to develop digital intelligence and social and emotional skills such as respect, empathy, critical thinking and resilience.
Also, help your child practice and become a responsible online citizen.
The End –
You can contact NCC via Toll Free Line: 622 or Cece Yara Foundation: 08008008001(for children, toll free) or 07007007001 (for adults, non toll free).