03 December 2015
If there’s one thing that every teenager loves, it’s technology. From smartphones and games consoles to tablet computers and mp3 players, sometimes the more technology a teen has, the happier they think they’ll be!
As a result of teenagers’ demands, tech items are one of the most popular presents found under the tree on Christmas morning. Last year, a whopping 50% of children received some sort technology based gift for Christmas. This year, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday hitting the UK high street with a vengeance, the numbers could be even higher.
Last week we wrote about the positive side of technology in tackling CSE and though technology is an important part of modern life, especially for teenagers, it’s important to remember it does pose its own risks. Smartphones, games consoles and even mp3 players are internet ready, allowing your teenager to contact, and be contacted by, people from all over the world.
Before you hand the technology over to your child, make sure that you’re familiar with the device’s privacy settings.
Most smartphones, games consoles, tablet computers and mp3 players offer users a level of privacy so make sure you take advantage of these services.
Another way to keep your teenagers safe is to choose devices that come with built in parental controls. These can help you block sites that may be unsuitable for your children, making it easier to control what your teenagers see and do online.
If you’re giving your child a smartphone for Christmas, it’s a good idea to opt for a tariff with a built in cap. That way you won’t have any nasty surprises when it’s time to pay the bill.
The more that teenagers understand about the internet and CSE, the better prepared they will be to keep themselves safe.
Before you give your child their high tech gift, try talking to them about grooming, sexting and other dangerous behaviours. If you can have an open and honest talk at this point, it will be easier to keep track of what your teenagers are doing online in the future.
Though it’s impossible to watch teenagers 24 hours a day, it’s important to try and keep track of the sites they are visiting and who they are talking to online.
If your child is mainly using their device in their bedroom, away from the rest of the family, encourage them to sit in the living room or other communal areas when they are online. This should make it easier to talk about what they are doing and to and to monitor how much time they are spending on the web.
To find out more about talking to your teenagers about CSE, grooming and online safety, take a look around the Rose site. If you’ve been affected by CSE call one of the friendly members of our team on 0808 800 1037.