Technology has many benefits.
But, it also raises some critical challenges for young people such as exposure to harmful content, bullying, grooming, and scams.
Vodafone is committed to helping children and teenagers get the most out of technology. We want to help today’s young people become more confident and resilient when they’re online.
Vodafone UK’s Digital Parenting site helps to empower parents with the right online safety information. With this, parents can enable their children to get the best and safest online experience.
Here is a selection of resources to support young people, parents, carers and teachers to make the right digital choices.
Children and the internet - potentially harmful impacts
The new Children Online: Research and Evidence (CO: RE) 4Cs classification recognises that online risks arise when a child:
engages with and/or is exposed to potentially harmful
witnesses, participates in and/or is a victim of potentially harmful
experiences and/or is targeted by potentially harmful
is party to and/or exploited by a potentially harmful
What children see online
The internet’s a fantastic place for kids to find information, connect and have fun. But some websites, apps, games and videos aren’t suitable for young people.
Learn to be more aware of online content here.
What you can do about what children see online
Talk to your child regularly about the websites, apps and other digital services they enjoy using and encourage them to tell you if they are ever concerned about anything they see online.
Agree on some boundaries about what’s appropriate for their age and explain why some companies have minimum age limits in place (e.g. 13 on Facebook and Instagram).
Make the most of parental controls like Google SafeSearch and YouTube Restricted Mode—there’s lots of helpful information in our Tools & Controls section.
Check age ratings on videos, apps and games before your child accesses them.
Make sure your child’s digital devices are protected with antivirus software, firewalls and anti-spyware products.
How children behave online
Self-expression, creativity, collaboration — technology has lots of benefits.
But with some kids and teens pushing boundaries and behaving differently online, it’s crucial you talk to your child about how they conduct themselves in the digital world.
What you can do about how children behave online
Talk to your child about how you expect them to behave online and agree on some rules. This could include not being mean to other people, balancing time online with other hobbies and being careful about sharing personal information, photos and videos.
Encourage them to let you know if they do something online that they think is wrong so that you can sort it out together.
Make sure your child has a PIN on their devices and uses strong passwords on websites and apps.
Explain that not everything online is free and decide whether you’d like to give them an allowance for things like downloading apps and games.
Update the anti-virus software and firewall on your child’s computer and mobile devices.
Who children meet online
Messaging apps and social media are a great way for young people to connect with family and friends.
But would your child know what to do if they were bullied or contacted by a stranger?
Find out about four types of negative contact young people might experience online.
Tools and controls
There are many parental controls and other online tools to help your child have a safer and more private online experience—many are free and easy to set up.
But remember, controls and tools aren’t always 100% effective, and tech-savvy kids can sometimes find their way around them.