More and more children can now use technology better than ever before and with access available 24/7 many children are choosing to play on a tablet than enjoy the fresh outdoors, so it's important to keep your child protected when browsing the web.

Many parents are already one step ahead admitting to switching on parental controls on their children's devices.

Encouragingly, 77% of parents feel more prepared to protect their kids than ever before and are aware of precautionary steps to take.

The study carried out by VTech, also found that 83% of mums and dads regularly monitor browsing history or being present while their child is online.

Children are not only using their gadgets for fun and games, many are choosing to complete homework on their devices, with 79% revealing they 'enjoy' doing homework on one.

VTech's Top 10 Tips For Keeping Kids Safe Online:

  1. Invest in Internet Security - Ensure you invest in affective Anti-Virus software to protect against unwanted virus's or pop-ups to inappropriate websites.
  2. Create a Good Password and Keep it Secure - It is vital to keep your privacy settings as high as possible.
  3. Set Download Limits on your Child's Device - Create limitations to what and how much can be downloaded onto your child's device.
  4. Get to grips with Social Networks - If your child is using Social Network sites look at the privacy settings and make sure limited people see information and posts. Befriend your children on social media to see what they're saying and who they're following.
  5. Monitor the time your Children Spend Online - Agree time limits with your child. This way they will understand what is an acceptable amount of time to spend on the device each day.
  6. Ensure your children are aware of the privacy risks of the internet - Teach your children the risks of disclosing private information. Names, contact information and addresses should remain private.
  7. Check the Privacy Statements of Websites - Browse the websites your child is likely to visit, if there's something you don't approve of block it.
  8. Make the best use of parental control settings - Most internet providers offer parental controls. See what is most appropriate for your child not only for your internet provider but for the key websites such as google and YouTube.
  9. Browse the web with your little one - explain how to browse the internet safely with you child.
  10. Encourage your children to discuss what they are browsing while online - this will encourage your child to come to you if they have any concerns about any content they have seen.

With parents feeling more secure about browsing safety, kids are left to explore online securely on devices. This is particularly apparent with the rapid increase of the number of children using tablets.

56% of the parents surveyed use tablets with their kids and 78% of children also use tablets independently. Kids rated their most common uses for tablets as being for playing games (64%), education and learning (49%) as well as watching TV shows and movies (45%).

Rachel Wisbey from Bromley has two sons Joe, 5 and Jack, 7 who regularly use a tablet at home. Rachel monitors her kids tablet use, "they spend a set amount of time on the tablet together playing games in the morning or before tea. We also use a tablet for homework- Jack is doing a project about the Romans and it's great for research as it's easy for him to use".

Considering the increasing popularity of tablets at home, it is no surprise to see that 45% of kids would also like to see tablets introduced to the classroom. Broomwood Hall Lower School in London is one of the 28% of schools who have already introduced tablets to the curriculum. Miss Caron Lock, Head of ICT has noticed that tablets have enabled teachers to "move away from rote learning to more interactive lessons", resulting in "more enthusiastic learners." She added: "We have seen a positive impact on the children's learning with even the most reluctant students engaging fully when tablets are used. I think that tablets are a fantastic teaching tool, gone are the days when children sit and stare at the blackboard."


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk