Are you a parent of a child who uses the internet or the parent of a child who will start using the internet soon? If you are, firstly you should know that it is your responsibility to make sure that your child stays safe while using the internet. Secondly, you should know that the digital world is not optional for young people, it is their gateway to education, information, entertainment, health services, and mediates their relationships and experiences. This is why online safety is a community responsibility, everyone who has a duty to care for young people should be educated and vigilant about online safety, this is not the responsibility of teachers alone, parents have a huge role to play in keeping their kids safe online.
Online safety is a specialized field, and parents need to have a deep understanding of internet culture, digital technology and more importantly, how young people are actually engaging with the social side of the digital world, including gaming, messaging, blogging, sharing and chatting online.
Within the online safety community or stakeholders, parents are seen as the ‘weakest link’ in keeping young people safe online and this is because they are not equipped to effectively supervise and help their own children in the digital space. Most parents don’t know how to enable safe technology or behaviour and cannot help effectively in a crisis because they don’t know what solutions are available. Virtually Safe is here to help because we think that a child should never know more than their parents do about the internet. At the very least, a parent should know about the same thing. This is why we prioritize digital education and online safety education for parents, we have created the Virtually Safe parents’ resource to help parents stay informed and educated to be able to help their young ones navigate the online world safely and securely.