Set up safety features on new gadgets before Christmas, parents advised

Parents should take the time to set up security features and parental controls on any new devices they give their children for Christmas, an online safety expert has said.

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Child psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, an ambassador for children’s online safety group Internet Matters, said setting up new gadgets ahead of time can help parents “stay in control” of their children’s access.

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Smartphones, laptops, and other Internet-connected devices are expected to be popular gifts for kids again this Christmas, but some parents struggle to understand how to manage security settings.



Enforcing internet safety with kids can feel overwhelming for parents, especially during the Christmas break when kids have plenty of time to play games or use new digital devices that they’re using. Received as a gift that parents can struggle to wrap their heads around.

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos

Internet Matters guidance recommends parents download any apps their child might use ahead of time so they’re ready to go when they’re handed over, and to ensure To ensure that their children are not exposed to inappropriate content, use the parental controls available for Internet browsers and app stores.

The group also highlights key features such as screen time managers that can be used on mobile devices as well as games consoles to limit how long a child can use a device or individual apps and games per day. Is.

“Enforcing internet safety with children can feel overwhelming for parents, especially during the Christmas break when children have plenty of time to play games or use new digital devices that “They receive it as a gift that parents can struggle to wrap their heads around,” said Dr Papadopoulos.

“The do’s and don’ts of Internet security can feel overwhelming, especially during the festive season when time seems to go by fast.

“With that in mind, setting up security features right away will ensure you’re in control of what your kids can access and when, letting them Can provide a better experience.



Talk to your child about their digital life this festive season, so they feel comfortable coming to you if something goes wrong.

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos

“First, always know about the device or platform or apps your child is using.

“You can do this by using the device with them and asking them to explain how it works and what they do on it.

“Or you can look on the Internet Matters website, which has age-specific guides for convenience.

“This is so you can understand what your child is doing and spot potential risks.”

Dr. Papadopoulos also encouraged parents to talk to their kids about Internet safety in general so that it’s easy for teens to come to them if they have any problems online.



Talking to them from a young age makes it easier to maintain good communication. Make sure to cut off conversations related to them.

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos

“Talk to your child about their digital life this festive season, so they feel comfortable coming to you if something goes wrong,” she said.

“Talking to them from a young age makes it easier to maintain a good conversation. Make sure to cut the conversation around them.

“Choose to talk when you’re going to spend some time together, like over a meal or during their bedtime routine. Incorporate the digital experience into normal, everyday conversations.

“Model the behaviors you want them to exhibit by sharing about their day. Be open and encouraging to make them feel supported.”

A range of online guides and resources can be found on the Internet Matters website at www.internetmatters.org.

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