Skip to main content

Safer Internet Centre

Do you have a cyberbullying or digital safety concern?

helpline@saferinternet.org.uk 0844 381 4772

Tech Gifts this Christmas

Image of Tech Gifts this Christmas

by Rebecca Cawthorne

09 December 2016

As Communications Assistant at Childnet, one of the three charities in the UK Safer Internet Centre, Rebecca writes blogs and coordinates social media activity for the UKSIC. 

As Christmas approaches there are plenty of new gadgets that parents and carers may be thinking about buying for their children. But before you wrap up your presents, have you checked out the safety features?

We’ve got lots of advice for parents and carers to help you get to grips with the safety features available on the most popular gadgets this Christmas.

Smartphones, tablets and games consoles

Our parents’ guide to technology gives useful and practical advice when buying a new smartphone, games console, tablet, connected TV or other internet-connected device. This guide looks at some of the most frequently asked questions about devices as well as looking at the safety features that are available on these devices.

One idea is to have a look at the device before you hand it over to your child on Christmas day and take the time to install the parental controls that you want onto the device. This way you know how the device works and don’t have to worry about finding time to install parental controls once your child already has access to the device.

Setting up parental controls on your home internet

It’s also important to look at what parental controls you have set up on your home internet, as this will help reduce the chances of children stumbling across something inappropriate while browsing the web. Your internet provider will offer free parental controls that you may find useful. You can read the full guide to parental controls offered by home internet providers here. 

Internet Connected toys

Internet connected toys may also be on top of your child’s wishlist and they can offer fun and interactivity, but also can present new risks and challenges. It’s important therefore that you ask questions about the toy in the shop before you make a purchase.

One of the questions you may want to think about before you buy your child an Internet Connected Toy is what information the toy collects. Does it require location services to work or will you be able to turn this feature off? Will the toy take pictures of your child? And it’s also important to know where the information the toy collects will be stored. It’s always worth asking about what privacy controls and safety settings you can use to make the device work for your family.

 

Whatever presents you’re buying for your children this Christmas, one of the most important things you can do is have an open conversation with your child about technology and the internet. By maintaining an open dialogue with your child and encouraging them to talk to you about their internet use you can help your children access the amazing resources the internet has to offer whilst keeping them safe online. These conversation starters are a great ways to talk about the internet with your children.