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Children aged five to seven fall into the Key Stage 1 area of learning under the UK curriculum and, as they are so young, they are not as involved with the internet as their older counterparts. However, this is an excellent time to get them used to using technology and teaching them the rules of internet engagement.

asus online safety

At Key Stage 1 in the national curriculum, children will start being taught how to gather information from different sources, how to enter and store information and how to share ideas. These skills can be wonderfully supplemented by teaching them how to use the internet to achieve these goals.

The internet can be specifically tailored to teach children how to do research and social networking sites for children are brilliant for them to learn how to share information and ideas, and how to put the information together. Additionally, blogging sites for kids will help them to manage these skills as well as improve language and writing and creativity.

While they are adapting to the internet as a tool, this is also the right time to start teaching them the rules of the internet. Talk to them about threats like cyber bullying or why it is important to avoid sites with inappropriate content. The amount of detail you go into is very much your choice.

 Some children may not understand these limitations so instead set your Parental Controls to only allow them access to specific sites. Also monitor their online activity closely if they are very active on social networking sites for kids.

It is also important to repeatedly emphasise that they must never give away personal information on the internet, no matter how much they feel they can trust the person on the other end. Explain that information such as their full name, their school or home address, and their age is private and must not be given to anyone.

It is unlikely that they will be able to get that information across at this stage, especially with the limitations you have placed on them, but it is a good time to get the message across and to reinforce it repeatedly. That way, when they are given more freedom, they are already very much aware of this important rule.

Here are some top tips for parents:

  • Teach them to keep personal information off the internet
  • Keep the lines of communication open. All experts agree that this is vital and that children must feel free to talk about their concerns so if something does go wrong, they are comfortable with coming to you to solve the problem.
  • Allow them a measure of personal freedom and privacy. Always explain why you monitor certain things but give them the chance to explore and learn on their own.
  • Introduce the idea of personal information versus online information. Teach them about nicknames and passwords.
  • Start teaching them online etiquette so they behave well and also so they can recognise bad behaviour when it happens.
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