Children across the world are spending more time at home and are also likely spending more time online as parents and caregivers try to keep kids entertained, educated, and relaxed.
That’s why Allstate Cyber Safety for Kids’ mission is more important than ever before. Our program teaches kids ages 6-9 about cyber bullying, how to identify cyber threats and how to stay safe online. Our mission is to help every child exercise cyber safety and know when to STOP, THINK and TELL.
To help you during this unprecedented time, Allstate Northern Ireland share their top tips to keep your kids safe online as part of their Allstate Cyber Safety for Kids programme.
Dealing with talking to strangers online
Explain to your child that talking to strangers isn't always 'bad', but they should always be careful about what they share. Sometimes people aren't who they say they are. Ask your child if they know how to use the reporting function within chat rooms or social media sites. Show them how to block someone and how to keep information private.
Beware what you share
Children these days want to share everything with their friends. Your child may be giving their personal details to people they have never met. Talk to your child about the importance of not sharing their personal details online.
Make sure you check if your child is old enough to use social media websites. Many social media sites require that users are over 13. Also check the settings on your child's social media apps. Ensure that they are not publicly searchable and everything is set to "private" or "friends only".
Don't be mean on screen
Every child has the potential to be unintentionally mean on screen. Talk to your child about being kind online and thinking before they post. Let them know that they can tell you if someone is being mean to them or a friend online.
If your child experiences cyberbullying
- Listen without judging
- Don't remove access to technology - Your child may be discouraged from confiding in you if there is a threat of their access being removed
- Encourage non-retaliation - Bullies are often looking for a reaction
- Save evidence of the bullying - Take screenshots or save the messages
- Talk to their school - Schools have anti-bullying policies in place that can help
- Talk to the police - This is critical if you think your child is in immediate danger
Allstate Cyber Safety for Kids classes are normally delivered in a classroom setting but have moved online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Friday, May 1, they hosted its first ever virtual session for 195 kids. Allstaters and their children joined from all across NI with even a few from India!
The session was a huge success. The kids were extremely engaged, and the session was highly interactive. The session was rated 4.77/5 with 100 percent of parents reporting their children learned something new.
Find out more about Allstate Cyber Safety for Kids, visit: Allstate.com/cybersafetyforkids