Keep your child safe online

The glitz and mayhem of the Christmas and New Year parties seems like a distant memory now, but if you recently got your child a new phone or tablet, O2 Guru Gary is here to help make sure your little angels stay safe online and don’t stumble across something you wished they hadn’t.

Being a parent of a young child I’m more aware of the scary side of the internet, now more than ever. After looking around for ways to ensure my child can enjoy the internet without me stressing about it too much, I wanted to share some solutions I’ve found that’ll help put you more at ease about your young ‘uns being online.

First up is the ‘Youtube Kids’ app

This is an app that I’ve found invaluable with my son who likes nothing more than watching Peppa’s latest antics on our iPad. Before discovering this app I had to keep a very close eye on what he was watching and what links he was clicking on. It was starting to send both me and my wife around the bend, but I then discovered the YouTube Kids app and promptly installed it.

Upon opening the app for the first time you’ll be asked what age range your child is in. You’ll then be asked if you want search enabled or not, which will stop them straying too far from the pre-defined content (which can be changed later if you want). After that, you’re now good to go. Your child can now browse the pre-defined content safely.

In the bottom corner of the app is a padlock which is where you’ll be able to access some hidden settings and options. When accessing these settings, you’ll be prompted to enter a code (which we strongly recommend you change to something only you will know) which will help ensure only you have access to change these settings.

Next up is ‘Net Aware’

This is an app that has been co-developed by O2 and the NSPCC. It’s designed for parents to have a resource for checking what different apps can do and what they’re used for.

There are so many different apps out there that are targeting kids these days, so this is something I consider a “must have” for every parent. Next time your child is talking about an app they’ve downloaded or want to download, you can easily look it up on Net Aware to find out what it’s about and if it’s an app you want your child to have access to or not.

As a parent, being well informed is one of the best tools we have, and Net Aware will help massively with that.

 

Next up is Club Penguin

Club Penguin is an app that’s proving to be very popular with younger teens. It has been developed with Disney and is difficult to put into a category, so here goes… It’s a “game-ified” social network with customisable characters. Phew that was tricky!

What makes Club Penguin a bit different is that it allows kids to chat in groups without fear of anything inappropriate happening. All chats are moderated around the clock to keep things in check. It’s a great way for teaching kids how to behave in an online environment and lets them create an avatar they can fully customize – retaining anonymity while keeping things personalised.

A great ‘feature’ of Club Penguin is that the account/membership will be linked to your email and you’ll be notified of any changes your child makes to their profile. Something to be aware of is that to make full use of all Club Penguin features, you will need a membership which costs between £3.33-£4.95/mo (depending on duration you select) but it’s something I wholly recommend as your child will have great fun, you’ll stay in control, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing everything’s fully moderated to ensure a safe environment.

Closing thoughts

Hopefully the apps and services mentioned above are something you’ve enjoyed reading about and may even have started using for your own child. There are loads more child-friendly apps out there so if you ever have any questions about apps you’re unsure of, feel free to speak with an O2 Guru or alternatively, you can contact us on our dedicated NSPCC helpline as well.

If you’re looking to get a new tablet for your child, we’d recommend the Alcatel Family Tablet Bundle which comes with everything you need to get set up.