You can test it here), control the access your child has to internet connected devices so you can monitor what they are doing, and limit their screentime.
Talk to your child about how to evaluate content for quality and appropriateness, and what to do if they stumble upon something that is not suitable for them.
Online safety moves very fast, new trends appear all the time, and the media loves to hype them (sometimes to the point that schools are contacting parents).
Some of them require some parental management and child education, for example loot boxes in games, some are hoaxes like the infamous “Momo” challenge.
So keeping up with latest info and doing your own research is essential.
Using the Internet with your child and making sure they are with you when they are browsing the Web will ensure you can guide them towards fun and informative resources that are appropriate for them.
This will help you both learn what resources are suitable, so if they ask to use that website again, you can trust that they can use it with a little less supervision.
One critical tool that needs to be suitable is the search engine you use, and there are a number of "Child Friendly" search engines available to use, but how do you evaluate which one is best to use?
Firstly lets clear something up - There is no such thing a "Safe Search Engine for Kids", without manually curating all the content you see (Which with nearly 2 billion websites is no small task), it is impossible to get all the results right. What we need is a search engine that cuts out the totally inappropriate, and provides tools and information to manage the rest.
This may not be a bad thing though, as parents we are training our kids to become adults. In the adult world, we stumble across inappropriate, low quality, and irritating content all the time, but we have learnt strategies to evaluate and filter the content we don’t want, and find the content we do.
So having children learn how to evaluate content through the child friendly tools we want them to use is giving them valuable skills for the now and the future. The key is teaching them how to assess content, and give them tools and reporting routes to handle content that is not.
They need to experiment and fail in a safe environment.
We (SWGfL) are a not-for-profit charitable trust, with a mission to ensure children benefit from technology, free from harm.
As lead partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, we drive Online Safety policy with governments and industry across the globe, as well as disseminate best practice to teachers, parents and pupils up and down the country.
We have taken our knowledge in this sphere to create our own child friendly search engine called Swiggle. Swiggle is designed for children aged 7 - 11, is completely free to use, and is completely ad-free.
Swiggle has been designed as an environment that enables young people to explore the Web in the safest way possible, whilst providing them with guidance to keep them safe whist they discover the Web, and tools to keep you informed if they stumble upon something inappropriate.
Discover Swiggle.org.uk - Child Friendly Search
There will always need to be more safety, research, policy and tools to keep our children safe on an ever growing, ever changing Internet, and we will continue to work tirelessly towards making the Internet the safest place it can be.
We hope that this article and the Child Friendly Search Engine we have created are a part of that solution, and help you take control of your child’s journey as they become part of the Information Age.