1 Using internet filtering software, walled gardens and child-friendly search engines. Use your browser's controls as some offer differing degrees of security for each family member.
2 Check out what child protection services your Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers - do they filter for spam, for instance? If not, ask them why.
3 Keep the computer in a communal area of the house, where it's easier to monitor what your children are viewing.
4 Tell children not to give out their personal details. If they want to subscribe to any services online, make up a family email address to receive the mail.
5 Children love to chat, but make sure they only use moderated chat rooms and encourage them to introduce you to their online friends.
6 Encourage your children to tell you if they feel uncomfortable, upset or threatened by anything they see online.
7 Involve your children in writing your own family code of acceptable internet use. Remember that what's acceptable for a teenager isn't necessarily OK for a primary school-aged child, so get their input.
8 Computer kit is expensive so bear in mind that a child with a laptop may be vulnerable when carrying it to and from school.
9 The web's a great resource for homework, but remember to use more than one site in research to get broad, balanced information and always reference your research sources.
10 Surf together. Go online with your children and become part of their online life. The key to safe surfing is communication.
Safer Children in a Digital World
Full report (PDF 2756kb)
Professor Tanya Byron did her first degree in Psychology at York, her Clinical Psychology Masters training at UCL and her doctorate (on the treatment of cocaine, amphetamine and ecstasy misusers) between University College Hospital and Surrey. She has been working in the NHS for 18 years working in Drug Dependency, HIV/AIDS and sexual health, adult mental health and eating disorders services. She was the Consultant of an in patient unit for 12 - 16 year olds with severe mental health problems and child protection issues. Professor Byron now works one day a week as a Consultant in child and adolescent mental health in a general practice.
In 2007 the Prime Minister asked Professor Byron to conduct an independent review looking at the risks to children from exposure to potential harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games. The Byron Review was published in March 2008. Professor Byron is also chancellor of Edge Hill University and Patron of the charity Propex.
Predominantly Professor Byron works at the BBC presenting programmes on child behaviour, science and current affairs (Little Angels; Teen Angels; House of Tiny Tearaways; Panorama; How to Improve Your Memory - with Professor Robert Winston). Professor Byron is currently filming four one hour documentaries for BBC2 looking at: Sex; Death; Vanity and Spirituality. Next year she will be filming a series on child behaviour in America. Also, after appearing in last years French & Saunders Christmas Special, Tanya co-wrote a comedy series about a daytime chat show host (The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle) with Jennifer Saunders.
Professor Byron has published three books on child behaviour, the latest published by Penguin and is currently editing an encyclopedia of child development and the early years with Dorling Kindersley. In addition Professor Byron writes a weekly column for the Times newspaper and for several women’s magazines.