To spy or not to spy? It’s the age-old question that many parents ask themselves when thinking about their online safety. On one hand, you want to keep your child safe but, on the other, you don’t want to lose their trust or make them not share with you. The answer is not simple.
Depending on their age (younger children should have their online activity supervised) and unless you have reason to suspect they or others are at risk of harm – for example, they are talking to a dangerous person or they are sexting (sending someone sexually explicit images or messages) – then we would advise not to snoop on their private messages. If found out, this could mean that your child chooses not to share with you and hides their online activity. Instead, we would advise:
- Have open communication about their online activity
- Reassure them they can come to you if they are worried about anything they see online
- Keep up to date with the new technological trends and fashions
- Agree together clear boundaries, for example, turning the Wi-Fi off by bed time