The internet, social networking sites and the various devices used to access them, such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones, are playing an ever increasing and influential role in the lives of our children who use the internet for education, entertainment and communication. Online activity can be a factor in forming a young person’s identity.
The following internet advice aims to provide parents and children with information and resources to help develop safer habits when learning and playing online. Much of the advice about online safety is common sense but the school encourages parents to take time to speak with their children about what they are doing, who they are talking with and where they are going on the internet.
Useful Points to Remember
Computers should be used in a central place
Encourage the use of technology in a central family area. This will make it easier to keep an eye on your child’s activities. The best protection still remains that of adult supervision.
Speak with your child about where they go online
Ask your child about what kinds of sites online and what mobile apps they like to use and why. Revisit the conversation from time to time. You could discuss:
- Their favourite online sites
- What they enjoy most?
- What are the fun aspects of being online?
- What do they think could go wrong?
- How would they react if things got out of control?
Be cautious of online strangers
Speak with your child about never arranging to actually meet a person they met online. Never share personal information with anyone online because they may not be whom they claim to be.
If you wouldn’t be prepared to say it to someone in person don’t text it, instant message it, or post it as a comment online.
Remind your child that what goes online, can stay online
Referred to as your digital footprint or alternatively as ‘digital dirt’, explain that a silly or offensive picture or post put online today could stay online forever. It could prove embarrassing and detrimental when they are older. A picture taken and then placed online can very quickly become out of their control.
Encourage your child to consider the possible consequences of their online actions. Suggest they stop for a moment to consider the possible consequences of their text or online post before they proceed. If the consequences of their online actions impact on school, the Behaviour Policy will be enforced.
Use privacy settings and sharing controls
Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have sharing and privacy controls to manage who sees their personal posts, photos, videos, etc. Using sharing and privacy settings correctly is very important.
Choose a sensible password
Remind your child never to give out their passwords. Instruct your child to create a memorable password preferably containing capital letters and numbers. It is also advisable to change this password occasionally and not to use the same password for all websites.
View online content critically
Just because you see something online, it is not a guarantee that it is true. Encourage your child to be critical as not everything is what it appears to be.
Further Advice and Information
If you have a particular concern or would like to speak about any issue of eSafety in more detail, please either contact Mrs Fleming, or the Computing Coordinator Mrs Newton.
www.thinkuknow.co.uk - Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre’s website houses a range of information on how to stay safe online. It includes a unique facility that enables parents and young people to make reports of actual or attempted abuse online.
www.childnet-int.org - The Childnet International website gives internet safety advice and links for young people, parents, teachers and other organisations.
www.saferinternet.org.uk - On the UK Safer Internet Centre website, you can find e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet.
www.kidsmart.org.uk - Kidsmart is an award winning Internet safety website for parents and those working with children. It has been developed by the children's Internet charity, Childnet International, and has excellent information on many of the technologies used by children with guidance on how to stay safe online.
parents.vodafone.com - Vodafone have developed this website in conjunction with Mumsnet. It provides information and guidance for parents to understanding their child’s digital world.
www.connectsafely.org - This site is built by parents for parents. It offers clearly written guidebooks explaining apps, services and platforms popular with kids and teens
www.facebook.com - Facebook has advice and guidance for setting up your profile and privacy settings in Facebook.
www.betterinternetforkids.eu - A site promoting safe digital habits for children throughout Europe. Has blog posts for trending internet topics and even has a hotline where families can receive support and report anything suspicious online.