Advice for parents and carers
How to start a conversation with your child about using a smart speaker safely:
Why do you want to get a smart speaker?
Why not find out what your child expects to use their smart speaker for. This could be for finding out information, playing games or taking quizzes, or listening to music.
Do any of your friends have a smart speaker at home?
This can open up a discussion about whether your child has used a smart speaker before, and also help you find out more about what they expect to use the speaker for.
What would you do if there was a smart speaker in another person’s home you were visiting?
You can ask them about appropriate things they can do on the speaker, as well as expectations around how they use technology, both at home or with their friends.
How can you check that information that a smart speaker is telling you is correct and reliable?
Critical thinking is a great skill for young people to have, you can use this opportunity to look at how your child checks the sources of information they see and hear, and how opinion is different from face. Read more in our misinformation guidance.
What would you do if you heard something worrying or upsetting from the smart speaker?
Talk about strategies they need in case something concerning happens whilst they are using a smart speaker. This could be to walk away and tell an adult.
Talk with your child about responsible use of your smart speaker
Discuss what is okay and not okay to use their smart speaker for. Talk about time limits and expectations of where the device can and cannot be used, this could include things like the speaker helping with homework or not adding items to shopping lists using the speaker.
Discuss what to do if something upsetting or worrying happens.
This could be to stop talking to it, leave the room and tell an adult.
Explore parental controls
Take a look at the controls available both on the speaker itself and on your home Wi-Fi. Talk these through with your child too. Parental controls are a helpful tool, but an open conversation with your child is the most important thing.