What is technology related wellbeing?

Having a good anti-virus software that keeps all your files safe
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Making sure all your system updates are done and that your firewall is active
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Ensuring that the way we use the internet and digital technology does not have a negative effect on our mental or physical wellbeing
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A healthy balance of online and offline activities is essential for personal wellbeing

What are the benefits of establishing a healthy family balance between screen time and non-internet activities?

There aren’t any benefits. Time offline is wasted time
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It gives the computer or console time to cool down
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A healthy balance is important for friendships, relationships and hobbies, as well as good physical and mental health
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Finding a healthy balance will help children stay healthy, active and social

Can excessive screen time have a negative effect on a child’s physical health?

Over 24 hours in one session can lead to swelling around the eyes
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No. Just make sure they drink plenty of water and set their screens to low brightness, and they will be fine
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Yes. The physical effects of excessive screen time can include obesity, fatigue, back and neck problems, eye strain and headaches
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Too much screen time can lead to a number of physical problems, so finding a healthy balance is essential

Can excessive screen time affect a child’s mental health?

Nothing long-term, everyone gets angry or sad every now and then
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Only if they get into arguments online or are involved in cyberbullying
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Yes, there are a number of negative effects that may include mood swings, loneliness, anxiety and depression
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Too much time online can increase the risk of your child experiencing mental health problems - especially if they have any existing issues

How can family screen time be managed?

Just cut off the internet and confiscate all devices when you want your family to spend time together
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Don’t worry about it, your kids will come to you if they need anything
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Establish agreed routines and boundaries with your family, and try to organize family activities so you can get together without being online
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Establishing family rules is a great start. Activities such as cooking, sports, walking or playing a game are all simple ways of being able to spend time together offline

How important is it for a child to understand how to use privacy settings and safety features online?

Not important! The security pop-ups are a waste of time and not worth reading
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They are only important if your family is being cyberbullied or harassed online
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Very important! Make sure you take the time to go through safety features with children on the sites they are using
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Over-sharing personal information, sharing photos publicly or using location tracking could leave a child open to a number of risks online and offline

What advice should a parent give their child if they are bullied online?

• Tell them to stand up and fight back
• Include their friends in the argument, to get them to join in
• Start messaging the bully’s friends or contacts to let them know their friend is a bully
• Post the bully’s details online to humiliate them
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• Close down all their social media accounts
• Change all their passwords immediately
• Keep the problem to themselves and don’t tell anyone
• Call the police
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• Do not retaliate
• Speak to parents or another trusted adult as soon as they can
• Block and report the bully to the platform
• Save any evidence
• Get further support if needed
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Following these steps will ensure your child stays in control of situations and is given the support they need to deal with problems effectively and safely

What advice should a parent give their child if they see someone being bullied online?

• Confront the bully publicly to make the victim aware that you are on their side
• Send a private message to the victim to check they are ok and let them know you are there for them
• Direct the victim to the local authorities as they should be able to help
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• Name and shame the bully on social media
• Send the bully lots of online abuse as well as commenting on all of their personal posts
• Team up with the victim to find out where the bully lives and turn up at their home address
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• Send a private message to let them know that you are aware of what is happening and are checking to see if they are ok
• Report any bullying or abusive behavior to the website or platform where it is taking place, so they can take action
• Direct them to Cybersmile for support
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Reaching out privately to reassure someone can make all the difference, especially if they are struggling with a situation. Reporting will help the platform to identify the behavior and also alert the platform of a user that may need support

How can a parent keep their family safe online?

Tell them to use different profile names so that no one will recognize them
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Upgrade all firewall and malware software, always use a VPN and ensure personal files are encrypted and stored on a separate hard drive
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Make sure they go through privacy and security tools together, as well as any reporting features. Learn how to use filters and mute tools to stay in control of who is allowed to view or post responses
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Learning about online safety and security together provides time for meaningful conversations about personal wellbeing and online safety. For younger children, you can also use parental control technologies to supervise their online activities

What can parental controls do to help keep children safe online?

Not much. You can only restrict internet access, but it’s easy to get around
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You can block all social media, but that’s all
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Allow you to filter out inappropriate content and monitor their activities on apps and social media
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These tools also allow you to block games or apps that are inappropriate as well as blocking unwanted or abusive users