Seniors, your grandkids’ Internet safety is your responsibility too – Jamaica Observer

Speak freely with your grandchildren about who they are communicating with online. The more comfortable they feel, the more likely they will tell you the truth.

The adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is just as relevant today, especially when it comes to protecting our children online.

Every family member has a role to play, grandparents too. As Jamaica’s Digital Operator, Digicel is deeply committed to educating families on how each member can contribute to making the Internet safer for children. In celebration of Child Month 2022, our digital experts have put together some essential tips to empower seniors to help their grandkids to navigate the Internet safely.

Parental controls

No matter how vigilant you are, even the most attentive parent or grandparent can miss a few things. App developers know this too. To make life easier, most digital devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops come with password-protected parental control settings. These settings allow you to restrict children from certain types of activities and viewing adult-rated content. To enable these features, go to Settings on the device and select Parental control/ Family management, and choose which restrictions you want to turn on.

Child-friendly apps and kids’ accounts

Some popular apps like YouTube have a version designed just for children (YouTube Kids). The idea here is to prevent children from actively searching for or stumbling upon inappropriate content. Other entertainment apps like Netflix, HBO Max, or Hulu that don’t have dedicated kids’ versions, allow you to create kids’ accounts that will only feature content appropriate for them.

Some quick tips grandparents can keep in mind to help protect children:

1)Be honest and open. Speak freely with your grandchildren about who they are communicating with online. The more comfortable they feel, the more likely they will tell you the truth.

2)Spend time with them online. Take an interest in their online activities and help them to identify age-appropriate games, apps, and other online entertainment. Educate them about maintaining boundaries with online friends; teenagers can often be very naive about who they talk to online.

3)Encourage children not to exchange personal information like phone numbers, addresses, images, or other personal information with strangers online.

4)Speak to your grandchildren about the importance of being kind and courteous online. Cyberbullying is a severe problem that can be avoided through parental guidance.

5)Lead by example. Children don’t always do what we say but often emulate our behaviour. Practise the safe Internet habits you preach, and your grandchildren will be more likely to follow your footsteps.

Digicel will continue the discussion about our children’s Internet safety throughout Child Month.

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