17 December 2019

Buying your child a new device for Christmas? 5 tips for staying safe

boy opening gift - expires on 05-08-2021

Follow our five tips for setting devices this Christmas to help keep your child safe.

We know that lots of families give children new devices at this time of year. Whether it’s a laptop, phone, tablet, games console or other device that connects to the Internet, there’s lots you can do to make sure it’s set up safely for your child.

1. Set it up together

Take the time to set the device up with your child. Chat to them about the different features, thinking about what you both like and dislike and decide together what safety features to use.

Talking to your child is one of the most important things you can do to help keep them safe online. Watch our video below on how to start the conversation or why not play our Parents vs Kids game to help begin the conversation?

2. Read the manual

This might seem obvious, but a lot of us forget to read the manual when we get a device. It can be useful to check the guidance given by the manufacturers. Product information often comes with new devices or can be found online. This will give you some idea as to how set up the device and how it collects and shares data.

3. Use parental controls

Setting up parental controls is an easy way to help keep your child safe on their new device. Parental controls can:

  • Block upsetting or inappropriate content
  • Limit in-app purchases
  • Manage which apps children can download

You can set up parental controls on individual devices and on your home WiFi.

We also recommend turning on privacy settings and making sure location sharing is ‘off’ on every device and app or game your child uses, this will help keep your child’s personal details and location private.

Watch our video on setting up parental controls.

4. Create a family agreement

Agreeing what you and your child do online is a great way to start talking about online safety. That’s why we’ve created a simple template for you and your child to use. Together you can decide what’s good to do online and what you should look out for. Once you’re both happy, why not stick it on the fridge as a reminder? You can also come back to it regularly to see if it’s still working.

5. Ask us for advice

If you have any questions, worries or concerns, call our free O2 NSPCC Advice Line on 0808 800 5002 or book a free appointment in-store with an O2 Guru, whether you’re an O2 customer or not. Our O2 Gurus will be able to give you help and support with your tech questions but there might be some changes you’ll need to talk to your chosen mobile network about.