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On the first day of Christmas...

Millions of digital devices will be unwrapped over the festive season. Whether your son or daughter is hoping for the new iPhone, a PS4 or Boxer the Robot, there’s lots you can do to help them enjoy their gifts and avoid potential online risks.

Start by asking yourself the following questions before you buy anything...

Is this device or service age-appropriate? Age ratings are there to protect children from inappropriate content and contact. For example, Fortnite has a PEGI rating of 12 and some virtual reality (VR) headset manufacturers recommend they are not used by young children.

Is my child ready for it? There are no age restrictions for smartphones and tablets – it’s up to you to decide if your child can have one. Consider things like how they will use the device day-to-day and whether they can be trusted to look after it.

Does it have parental controls? Many technology companies, including Vodafone, have built safety and privacy tools into their products and services. Whether it’s on your home internet, social network, search engine or smartphone, these controls help to protect your child online.

A 2017 survey by Barnardo’s found that only 60% of the adults who bought internet-enabled devices as gifts for their children for Christmas were planning to activate the maximum privacy and safety settings. We recommend checking what controls there are and activating them based on your child’s age and maturity.

This Christmas, we’re highlighting 12 Child Online Safety articles so you can make your child’s tech wishes come true and get some peace of mind at the same time.

You might also find our free resources useful.

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