While our younger generations have grown up with social media since ‘day 1’ – that doesn’t mean they know how to browse the internet safely.

So, to mark this years’ Safer Internet Day, we’ve gone around the entire Zzoomm team and found their three top tips to help your family enjoy a safer browsing experience.

Safe browsing
The internet is a digital Wild West, full of wonderful, educational, and exciting interests, but it also has a darker side not safe for children. To keep your kids on the right side of the fence and provide a safe browsing experience, check out InternetMatters.org.

Not only can you find out the parental controls available on your phones, tablets, and computers, but it also breaks down its advice by the age of your kids, helping you keep their online experience in line with their friends, so they don’t miss out on any of the social aspects of the internet that their friends are enjoying.

Limit screen time
We’re not trying to be alarmist, but just like alcohol, tobacco and drugs, if not managed carefully, screen time can become an addiction that can damage the health of your family and their relationships with others.

Settings expectations for how long kids can spend on their phone, as well as no-phone times (like during meals or ‘family time’) helps break the reliance on technology that kids can experience.

Here’s some great advice for iPhone users, and Android users, on how to set limits on screen time and enhance digital wellbeing while using portable devices.
 
Social Media
To minimise the potential for bullying and harassment, regularly engage with your family about what they do and who they speak with on their favourite platforms, sharing their enjoyment and guiding them to safe spaces. Should the worst happen, and they do find any negative experiences; they will hopefully then be more comfortable sharing those issues, instead of holding those problems inside.

YoungMinds.org has a lot of great advice for parents needing guidance on how best to address the impact of social media on young people’s mental health.

All told, we love the potential for good that the internet holds. It brings us all closer together and can act as the catalyst for social change when used respectfully. But it’s also a significant danger to the health of our future generations. By helping our families use the internet in a safer way, we can all use the internet to inspire change for the better.

For further actionable advice and support, as well as the links above, we’d also recommend the NSPCC’s online training course that helps keep children safe online.