The Instructions Not Included campaign will help promote a shift in attitudes so that seeking support is seen as a sign of strength. By unlocking the power of parents and families to help themselves and one another, we will reach out to more families, overcome more barriers to support, and help to prevent the escalation of parenting problems.
Help keep your grandchildren safe online by educating yourself about what's there so that you can educate them. Fortunately, there's lots of help on the internet itself – see the websites listed at the end of this article for some of the best.
Do talk to your grandchildren about how they use the internet. If they frequent social networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo or Facebook, it's very important that they understand that people they ‘meet’ online are not always what they seem and that they should never identify themselves by giving out personal information.
By using the parental controls in the operating system of your computer, you can block unsuitable websites, control the type of online games that children can play and even restrict the amount of time they spend on the computer. The Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X (10.4 and up) operating systems all have this facility built in.
In Windows, from the 'Start' menu go to the 'Control panel', where you can set up your preferences in 'User accounts and family safety'.
If your computer is a Mac, click on the Apple symbol in the top left of the screen, select 'System preferences' and then the user account you want to restrict, and click on 'Parental controls'.
Previous versions of Windows and the Mac operating system do not have parental controls.
If your browser is Internet Explorer, you can restrict the websites that can be accessed. This is not foolproof, though, and it is probably better to ask your internet service provider (ISP) whether they provide something more reliable.
Firefox does not have built-in parental controls but you can install a variety of little computer applications that can do the job – these are called 'add-ons' (see below for one).
Some useful websites
Ofcom: Protecting your children in a digital world
Ofcom's free guide can be downloaded from here.
Online safety advice for young people and their carers.
Get Safe Online
Advice for everyone on keeping safe online.
Internet Watch Foundation
The website to which illegal online content can be reported.
Add-ons for Firefox: brOOzi 1.1.1
Here you can find a particular add-on for the Firefox browser. Once downloaded, you can use this to restrict the websites that children can visit and the downloads and printing they can do.
Digital Unite’s Learning Zone
This is an invaluable – and free – resource. You can ask questions online about any digital queries you have, and find a host of useful guides that are in plain English and easy to download.
This article was kindly provided by BeGrand