Today sees the launch of a new campaign from the NSPCC. Share Aware is all about encouraging families to talk about socialising safely online. Their new video is a very easy way to start talking to your children about online safety and aimed at 8 – 12 years olds, it is very appealing and easy to understand.
As part of this campaign, they have launched a new online tool which enables parents to get the low-down on the most popular social network sites. It has been produced in partnership with Mumsnet, the UK’s largest parenting website. They have consulted with over 500 parents and 1,850 young people in order to gain both a parent and child perspective.
Net Aware is just what we need for the modern, technological world we live in. We are all parenting children that are far more tech savvy than we ever were at their age.
What is Net Aware?
- The website enables you to find basic information about the most popular social media websites and apps. This includes information on what people can use each site for (messaging, sharing photos, playing games etc) and the minimum age you must be to register.
- It rates the suitability of these sites for young people. Not only does it give you the legal age as set by the owners of the website, but it also gives you a suggested age as voted for by parents and by children.
- It specifies any particular risks, as highlighted by children and parents.
Whether or not your children use the internet at home, they will still have access to it elsewhere, be that at a friend’s house or at school. Personally I like to know what sites they are using, how they work and how I can keep them safe whilst online. Even websites like ‘Minecraft’ which are known for being ‘creative, imaginative and challenging’ have raised the concerns of children in this study, because you can interact with complete strangers.
What I love about this site.
Net Aware is very easy to use and simple to navigate. I think this is especially important for busy parents.
Each social media site that is listed also includes important links that will help you use the site more safely. For example, on the Facebook review page it gives you a link to all the information that you need to change your privacy settings. This saves a lot of time trawling through pages to find what you need. There are also useful links for reporting inappropriate content or ‘blocking’ contact from strangers.
Would I recommend this site to parents?
If you use a website like Net Aware you can be ahead of the game. You can prepare for any problems by knowing the risks before your children use them and you can use the helpful links to make these sites as safe as they possibly can be.
For more information on talking to your children about socialising safely online, have a look at this parents guide.