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Talking to children about staying safe online is essential

Readers' letters | Published:

Many youngsters will have unwrapped a new personal device this Christmas, whether it’s a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

For some children, it may have been their first, which is a big step for them as they enter the online world.

It can be a great place for youngsters to learn, but as a parent, grandparent, or carer it can be difficult to know when is the right time to give children in your care more access to the online world and this is understandable.

However, if you have bought your child some new technology, I would encourage you to talk to them about online safety at the first available opportunity, and lead by example.

Starting simple conversations about their online activity, and having them regularly, is often the best way to help them keep safe while surfing the web.

This simple acronym can help:

T – Talk about staying safe online.

E – Explore their online world together.

A – Agree rules on what is okay and what isn’t.

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M – Manage your family’s settings and controls.

To learn more about keeping children safe online, I’d recommend a visit to the Net Aware site, contacting the O2 and NSPCC’s online safety advice line on 0808 800 5002, or visiting an O2 guru in store.

Des Mannion, Head of NSPCC Cymru/Wales

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