Be Secure Online Blog

What Schools, Parents need to do to catch up with Kids on Devices

Everything changed for kids on devices during COVID19.

kids on device, new schools year, new rules for kids on devices, kids online, internet safety for kids
New rules and guidelines post lockdown to help kids win online and reduce screentime. Let's put down the device

Three things Schools could do today

  1. Insist on Privacy Settings in Social Media 
  2. Recommend the use of parental control in the home for all kids. Norton360 has excellent parental control features.
  3.  Embrace #SID2022 (Safer Internet Day) Tues, 8 February 2022. Highlight a theme like 'anti bullying' or 'beware of Influencers' every month.

More Tips

Simple practical tips schools could take today to improve things.

  • Switch off In-App Purchases on Phone & Delete all cards from browsers
  • Recommend parents get the same type of phone for kids. Don't mix iPhone & Android in house
  • Do a class-wide push on time limits, bedtimes daily with kids. Use an Oven timer!
  • Beware Snowy the dog, the extension of stranger danger 
  • Check age limits for games on PEGI.INFO
  • No gamers to play on public servers where language, and atmosphere is toxic. No Headphones

8,9, and 10 year-olds get all of this. Gamers know what public servers are. Gaming companies provide gaming forums online for players, known as Public servers. Open to everyone, it is an aggressive and abrasive place. Players of all ages especially young men are active. Public server games are very competitive, frequently out of control and can take all night. Child safety experts agree it is not a good place for kids.

Enquire about a School talk

Good online habits build better healthier Kids

German Research Institute (Max Plankt) says face-to-face time with family and friends is vital to children's healthy development and wellbeing. They say that COVID19 internet usage habits are a huge step in the wrong direction. Riot Games, the developers of 'League of Legends' said usage has doubled since March 2020. Roblox usage rose by 70%. All of these companies are fighting to keep their gains. TikTok, Snapchat will continue to fight for supremacy amongst kids and teenagers. Instagram has lost some ground but will fight back to capture kids attention.

Parents relented on screentime during the lockdown, leaving many kids unsupervised during the school day, free to bunk-off school, game all day or chat with friends on social media. The Chinese Government take a more direct and radical approach to online safety for children. They impose parental control on kids with daily time limits, enforced bedtimes and explicitly prohibit nighttime gaming for kids.

It is the unfairest fight ever, Big Tech against children. We need to do more than warn the kids about 'Stanger danger online' once a year in the run-up to Safer Internet Day. We need to stand up and fight back, take internet safety and kids online wellbeing seriously for all, especially kids.

Let's Change the game

Last year, we were asked, by one school district to recommend a simple programme for a group of four primary schools in South West London. The objective was simple, improve young kids online safety in a simple way for non-tech teachers and parents. Social Media was the biggest issue, and the school wanted to use the Tokyo Police schools initiative discussed above. Internet Safety Talks for Kids Aged 6-9

First, they needed to find social media platform, and they needed a year group, so they decided on the ten-year-olds, to nobodies surprise. They choose Instagram based on its ease of use. 

If it works, Snapchat is next. Luckily a couple of teachers familiar with Instagram are willing to lead the project in class. Parents download the App (if they want their child to participate), happily despite some reservations most parents have embraced the project as being common sense. Moving Kids to 'Private' and easily recognisable profiles where Mum and Dad can identify people from their profiles and profile picture. Philosophy, if Mum can't recognise them from their profile, why accept them as a friend? It's a big shift in thinking and needs to be done. 

Calling yourself Degsy, and having a picture of a dog's behind (which many eleven-year-old boys do) as your profile picture might be funny to some. But it doesn't butter any parsnips social media-wise or promote good behaviour. Book a Parents talk - Parents talk page

children online safety, internet safety talks for schools, internet safety for kids

This Picture tells the story exactly, addicted to Games like Fortnite, social media like TikTok, Snapchat

We are not in Kansas anymore

Schools seem to be facing another year worldwide without any new thinking coming from anyone on to combat technology in children's lives. There is little funding, little new thinking, little new resourcing for schools to challenge phone addiction. Principals, Parents, Schools are left to deal with this alone.

Polling a class is very interesting when we being a talk. Here are some of the things we regularly come across with 6,7,8 years olds.

  • Access to more than one device
  • Surprisingly high numbers have no home rules for online access
  • Mainly un-enforced & unsupervised at home
  • Almost no parental control
  • Parents - I speak to my kids all the time Kids - No you don't
  • Parents need to take more responsibility, especially on time limits

We did the maths, here is what we know for sure. If your kid has thousands of followers on social media, she will get bullied.

Mark Zuckerberg Chairman, Facebook

Here are some of the issues

Schools seem to be facing another year worldwide without any new thinking coming from anyone on to combat technology in children's lives. There is little funding, little new thinking, little new resourcing for schools to challenge phone addiction. Principals, Parents, Schools are left to deal with this alone.

  • Kids as young as four have phones, devices now.
  • Social Media is commonly used by kids as young as seven unsupervised.
  • During Covid-19 we have seen screentime doubled - which was already high
  • Youtube is not what was, too much advertising, Influencers are a real problem, too Algo driven
  • TikTok, older brothers and sisters are all issues.

Rules for Kids aged 5-8 on Smartphones, Devices

Now for some good things!

What’s in it for you. The Benefits
Kids who behave better
Kids that exercise more, sleep, eat better.
Kids that do as asked
Kids who study better, doing better in school
Kids who don’t get bullied online
Kids with longer attention spans
Healthier, fitter, stronger kids.
They can still play Fortnite, we are not stopping them, just not all-day

From our ebook - How to protect your kids online

Articles of Interest

Rules for Kids aged 5-8 on Smartphones, Devices

Internet Safety Tips for Kids - Keeping Kids Safe Online 10k + reads

Five things a child must never share online

Updated 2021 guidelines for kids on Youtube 

Handy Connections

Setting up the right Social Media Profile for Kids

Low-Cost Norton 360 Premium 

Gamers - You need Nord VPN

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