With the half-term holidays fast approaching, you may be frantically searching for things for your kids to do to fill the time.
But even if you have lots of activities planned, the chance are that your kids will spend more time online than usual.
With that in mind, Google has issued several tips for parents to keep their children safe online during the half-term holiday.
Speaking exclusively to Mirror Online, Rosie Luff, online safety public policy manager at Google UK, said: “It’s important to make sure your children are using the internet safely and securely.
“At Google, we wanted to share some tips to help ensure your kids’ online time is as safe as possible this holiday.”
1. Encourage strong passwords
Ms Luff suggests that parents should talk to their kids about how to create a good password.
She explained: “Talk to them about why it’s important to develop a strong password – more than eight characters long, with a mixture of numbers and symbols, as well as upper-case and lower-case letters.
“If creating, storing and remembering unique passwords becomes difficult, you can also consider using tools such as Google Password Manager or Safari’s suggested password feature.”
2. Work on best practices as a family
Discussing best practices online as a family can be a helpful way to keep your children safe online, according to Ms Luff.
She said: “Ask your children how they use passwords over multiple accounts. Let them know that using the same password to log into different websites makes each of those accounts less secure, so it’s vital to create a unique password for each one.
“Make sure your kids are also keeping their devices safe with up-to-date security policies.
“Be clear on the family rules around which sites and services your kids can use. You can also use privacy controls to restrict their access to certain websites.”
3. Educate them about threats
Surfing the web with your child can be a great way to show them good online safety practices, Ms Luff explained.
“While doing this, talk about which sites look trustworthy and which do not,” she said. “Use a browser with Safe Browsing technology that issues a warning when you attempt to access sites or software it identifies as dangerous.
“And if there is the opportunity to create a new account on a trusted website, you can also put your child’s education in strong password creation to the test.”
4. Work on responsible social media use
With cyberbullying becoming a growing problem in the UK, it can also be helpful to work on responsible social media use with your child.
Ms Luff said: “Encourage your children to speak up against, and report, online bullying if they witness or experience it, and also to be aware of when their own actions could be harmful to others.”