Love or hate it, the Internet is now part of our everyday life. Be it catching up on the latest news stories, chatting with your friends, the kids playing games or simply ordering your weekly shop.

Essex Baby would like to join the hundreds of other organisations across the UK, celebrating Safer Internet Day and promoting the safe and responsible use of technology.

The theme for this year is ‘Let’s create a better internet together’, offering us an opportunity to focus on both the creative things that children and our families are doing online, as well as the role that we all play in helping to create a better internet.

Safer Internet Day is a great time to have a conversation with your children about staying safe online. The UK Safer Internet Centre suggest the following ideas to get you started:

  1. Talk to your child about their favourite websites. Starting a conversation on a positive foot can lead nicely into a chat about online safety.
  2. Remind your child that showing respect for others online is just as important as showing it offline. Encourage them to think before they post and encourage them to show positive behaviour online.
  3. If your child loves to use social networking sites, teach them about protecting their personal information by thinking about what they are sharing and who they are sharing it with. Show them how to use privacy settings, and how to block and report – and advise them to only accept friend requests from people they know in real life.
  4. There are ways in which you can help to prevent your child from seeing inappropriate content online. Have you considered parental controls and filtering in your home and also on your children’s portable internet enabled devices?
  5. There are lots of ways you can advise your child about cyberbullying, if they are worried remind them to save the evidence and to always tell an adult they trust if something upsets them online.

The UK Safer Internet Centre has also written guidance about how you can prevent age inappropriate content being accessed online on computers in your home. Read more here: http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/parents-and-carers/parental-controls

To celebrate Safer Internet Day, Essex Baby, is inviting you to tell us ‘One Good Thing’ you have done online to benefit others. For example, it could be skyping relatives so they can see your newborn baby or something far larger like starting a petition to save your local children’s centre.

Please comment below and help us to share the ‘good’ side of the Internet.