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Staying safe online this holiday season

This holiday season Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs wants to offer parents and caregivers some advice on how to help keep your family safe online.

Talk to your child about online safety:

Jolene Armadoros, Director Digital Safety, says the holidays are a great opportunity to talk with your children about staying safe online, and to set out rules for online activity.

“The internet brings a lot of benefit, but there are also risks. Taking responsibility for your child’s online activity can help minimise these risks and ensure your kids have positive online experiences” says Ms Armadoros.

Here are some tips for helping your child develop good online habits:

• Agree and set clear rules and boundaries for device use with your child. Display these expectations in a central place as a reminder and do regular check-ins to ensure they are being followed.

• Make a plan with your child so they know what to do if something goes wrong. Let them know what options are available if something makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe while they are online. Reassure your child that they can always come to you or a trusted adult with any online challenge they face.

• Learn about current risks online. Discuss the benefits and challenges of using online devices with your child so they too understand the risks.

• Talk openly and regularly with your child about their online activities. Show them that you are interested in the websites and apps they use and who they talk with.

“The best way to ensure your children are having positive online experiences is to stay in touch with what they’re doing. Spend time with your children while they're online, have them show you what they do and ask them to teach you how to access the services” says Ms Armadoros.

We’ve created two new resources for parents, to help protect your child’s online privacy and reduce screen time over the holidays. Check them out and have a talk with your child about online safety this holiday season.

Factsheet - Reducing screen time over the holiday season.

Factsheet - Helping children stay safe when using smart devices.

Be wary of online scams:

The holidays are a good time for an online bargain, however this time of year sees an increase in fake websites that use marketing tactics like ‘super discount’ or ‘80% off’ to entice shoppers.

Remember that not everything you read online is true – any offer that seems 'too good to be true' probably is.

For more online safety tips this holiday season, check out the Domain Name Commission’s #ShopSafeNZ campaign here.

You can also visit our Online Safety webpage, or netsafe.org.nz for more information and resources.

Digital Safety Group

The Digital Safety Group is responsible for improving the digital safety of New Zealanders. These activities are undertaken in accordance with the Film, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 and the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007. This includes preventing the distribution of, and access to objectionable material, and dealing with commercial and harmful electronic messages.

Click to learn more about our Censorship Compliance Unit and Electronic Messaging Compliance Unit.

If you come across child exploitation imagery online, immediately report this to Internal Affairs' Censorship Team at censorship@dia.govt.nz. You should also notify your internet service provider.

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