Buying technology this Christmas?

18 Dec 2013 UK SIC

Read our tips to help keep children safe.

This Christmas day, many children will be asking their parents for tablets, games consoles and smartphones. It has been a busy year for technology; with new consoles like the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, as well as cheaper-than-ever tablets, which look set to further increase the take up of tablets, which has already tripled in the last year.

But are parents making the most of the safety tools available?

Research by Disney Club Penguin has found that four in five parents are planning to buy their children an internet-enabled device this Christmas, but half of parents are not intending to put online safety measures in place.

If you’re buying technology this Christmas, follow these helpful steps:

  • Get involved in your children’s digital lives: use our conversation starters to help you chat to your children about technology and safety.
  • Get to know the technology: make sure you know what functions the device has; you could get your child to show you what they like to do, or play a game together.
  • Use the tools: Most devices will have parental control tools that can help you, for example by preventing in-app purchases so you don’t get any shock bills. Plus you can contact your home internet provider who can help you set up free filters.

You can see detailed guidance about how to set up parental controls at In particular, our Parents’ Guide to Technology will help you get to grips with the technology, including helpful guides about the iPad and the iPod Touch.

If you’re buying an Xbox One, check out this advice from Microsoft. If you’re buying a PS4, check out this advice from PlayStation. Don’t forget to ask when you’re buying any internet enabled technology about the protections that it offers.

Need more help?

To help parents over the Christmas season, Disney Club Penguin has launched an online safety hotline for children and parents. Parents and children can email any online safety questions to between now and 5th January.

Most importantly…

Enjoy the technology as a family – and unleash the fantastic opportunities for learning, creativity and fun!

Happy Christmas from the UK Safer Internet Centre!

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