Talk together about online experiences
The summer vacations are a good time to let children and young people tell you what they like to do online. Which websites they like to visit, which games they prefer, and much more. This gives parents an insight into their children's online use and shows that they are interested in it.
Children and young people should feel that adult caregivers are interested in what they do online. That way, they are more likely to turn to them for advice or when they have problems.
Become an expert yourself!
To be able to help, you should be familiar with the basic functions of the Internet yourself. So the vacation season can be an opportunity for parents to find out what's hot. Or even to try out various offers yourself. You'll quickly notice that many safety tips can be applied universally to different services. For example, when it comes to protecting yourself from unwanted contacts. In this way, educators can gain self-confidence and also appear credible to children and young people.
For example, our Media Education topic page can serve as a starting point.
Create a media use agreement
At www.mediennutzungsvertrag.de, families can easily make agreements for media use. Consciously addressing questions such as "Which services may be used?" or "How long may we watch YouTube?" is a good opportunity to reflect on media use in the family.
The media use contract offers prefabricated agreements that can be adopted, but it can also be designed individually with your own rules.
Childproof your devices
Most electronic devices are not designed to be used by children. On the contrary, they have to be adjusted afterwards to make them safe for children. With a large number of devices, this quickly becomes exhausting and time-consuming. Fortunately, there is www.medien-kindersicher.de. There you will find instructions for devices and individual apps and programs.
Do a privacy check as a family
Especially during the vacation season, children and young people use apps to stay in touch with their friends. It's an ideal time to consider together what privacy settings you should make.
Talk about sharing vacation photos
Especially during the vacation season, kids and teens may want to show where they are and what they're doing via photo or video. Have a conversation about which photos are safe to share and with whom, and where caution should be exercised. It's important that children and teens develop a sense that they shouldn 't share private details with strangers. And that they must also respect the privacy of others. For example, they should never use pictures that show other people without being asked. Our "Too naked for the Internet" information card for young people can help with this.
As parents, you should also be a role model here and always involve your children before sharing photos of them with others. You can find more information on this topic in our news article "Children's pictures on the web - what parents should bear in mind on vacation".
This article is based on a publication by our British colleagues from the Safer Internet Center UK.