Whether your son or daughter is heading back to school toting a brand-new device or is already a tablet pro, media and tech will play a major role both during and after school this year.

So now is the perfect time to set your kids up for a great digital year, starting with a ‘digital hygiene check’.

With 62% of families having specifically purchased at least one tablet for their children’s education, there’s an increase in the use of bring-your-own (BYO) tablet devices in classrooms. That means parents are often now purchasing a device and managing it themselves.

This presents opportunities to help set up your children’s devices properly from the get-go, talk with your kids about responsible device use and safe behaviour, set ground rules and agree limits.

Top ideas to start a safe and responsible digital school year:

1. Help your children set up their devices to maximize safety – ensure they are password-protected and lock automatically and that the privacy settings on their various accounts and social media are turned on and strengthened. Make the most of parental controls to help avoid inappropriate content, be it through the inherent functionality of Apple and Android devices or via Telstra products and services such as Telstra Mobile Protect and Telstra Broadband Protect.

2. Set ground rules – Smartphones, tablets and laptops are all expensive to replace so give kids some responsibility for the care and maintenance of their devices. Set parameters around how much data can be used and who will pay for in-app and in-game purchases or if they exceed their data limit.

3. Balance screen time with offline activities – encourage kids to have some screen-free time each day and turn off devices before bedtime for a better night’s sleep.

4. Value personal information – talk to your children about the value of personal information, what it is and why it’s important to be careful sharing it.

5. Use your device for good – teach kids to treat others the same way they’d like to be treated online, encouraging them to take a moment to consider whether a message, post or image could upset or embarrass someone else.

6. Get your digital licence
– help kids hone their digital smarts with the eSmart Digital Licence, an engaging and interactive cyber safety quiz (age 10+).

For more information and more safety tips, visit www.telstra.com/cybersafety