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4 tips to help keep your kids safe online

Tapping around the internet comes as naturally to kids as running around outside. That means it’s worth spending some time figuring out how to make their time online safe. We have a few tips to help get you started.

After all, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an iPhone.

Run them through the basics

A few simple safety guidelines can help kids figure out what to do (and not do) online.

Handy tips to pass along can include:

  • Don’t give out any private or personal information with anyone online (think: addresses, phone numbers, photos, school details).

  • Stranger danger isn’t just for the playground — it applies online too. Don’t engage with those who you don’t know. This one can be tricky given how much time kids spend playing multiplayer games online.

  • Don’t share passwords — not even with friends.

  • Sharing personal photos online with friends and family can be great, but be mindful of what’s being posted, where they’re being uploaded, and who has access to them.

  • Remember that what’s posted online can spread quickly, far beyond your own social groups.

This is just a general starting point, though. You’ll need to know what your kids are up to online to give them more specific guidance.

Keep the convo open

Kids need to know they can reach out if they’re unsure about something they’ve seen (or said).

Build trust by keeping an open and honest discussion about what’s happening online. Ask about their online experiences the same way you’d ask about things like school.

Don’t forget to share what you’ve been up to online as well. This will help reinforce that this kind of thing is normal and expected. Just get ready for them to roll their eyes at you.

Set some clear rules

Are some sites a flat-out no-go zone? Is 8pm the cut-off for screen time?

Introducing a few key rules around web use can help build a better relationship with the internet.

You can even use certain devices to help make these rules a little harder to break. For example, Belong modems let you limit when certain devices – like your kids’ school laptops or phones – can get online and what sites they can access.

If you have a Belong modem, here’s how to set up parental controls.

Make use of the tools each device provides

There are heaps of platform-specific controls that you can use to help provide kids a safer place to connect, learn and play.

Web browsing

Google have an application called Family Link (available on both Android and iOS) which helps parents manage the content their children access.

It doesn’t directly filter out any content, but does help with things like managing unwanted apps, limiting screen time, and location tracking.

The Chrome browser also has a Safe Browsing function enabled by default. It tries to limit access to potentially dangerous sites. However, this won’t help block out a wide range of unwanted content so it might be worth looking into third-party browser extensions to block unwanted pages.

The Safari web browser does also have some simple parental controls built-in to block specific websites. On iOS devices, head to ‘Settings’, ‘General' and then ‘Restrictions’.

Android and iOS smartphones

Apple iOS devices have built-in parental controls, which you can learn more about on Apple's website and on Google's.

These controls let you set things like screen time, limits on in-app purchases and content restrictions.



YouTube has a separate YouTube Kids app that provides content curated and aimed at children, while also letting you block specific videos or channels, set timers and keep tabs on viewing history.

The main YouTube app also has a built-in ‘Restricted’ mode that can help filter out potentially inappropriate mature content. It can be toggled by logging into YouTube, heading to 'Settings', ‘General’ and then ‘Restricted Mode’.


In Netflix, you can create a ‘Kid’ profile that will only show child-friendly content. To make one, head to Profile settings and tick the ‘Kid’ option when you make a new profile.

You can also choose whether mature shows and movies are allowed for each profile when editing them.

Keep talking

None of these tools are perfect, though. And they’re no replacement for having clear and open chats with your kids.