With the Christmas countdown already in full swing, you will probably be getting hints from your children on what they would like to open on December 25th.
Many Christmas lists will probably include electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones or games consoles. Below are some hints to ensure that your child is able to use these devices safely.
- Go onto the settings section where you can restrict or disable features so your children cannot download unsuitable applications or content e.g. videos. A good site to support you with setting controls is: http://www.internetmatters.org/
- Make sure that the account on the tablet is set up by a parent or carer, so that they can authorise content that is downloaded. This is important if they want to download any additional content called ‘In App Purchases’ (IAP).
- Look at the age ratings for applications as some might not be suitable for your child. The same goes for access to popular sites such as You Tube, Snapchat and Facebook.
- Talk to your children about using cameras and video chat facilities. If someone acts inappropriately, then make sure they tell you immediately. Also, ensure they use these features sensibly and don’t take unsuitable images and share them with people they don’t know.
- If you are buying a smartphone for your child, seek advice from the mobile provider about parental controls. These might not be automatically switched on, so you may need to look at the providers website for support.
- Games consoles such as Xbox’s and Playstations are very popular with primary aged children. The key issue with video games is the suitability of a number of titles as they are rated in the same way as films. Therefore, major releases before Christmas such as Call of Duty: Black Ops III (rated 16), Fallout 4 (rated 18), Star Wars – Battlefront (rated 16) all have 16+ ratings. A useful site to find about the content of games can be found here: http://gamesratingauthority.org/GRA/