The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge. You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online. Below are helpful tips to help you set up boundaries and routines that will help to keep children safe online, and learn to use this amazing tool responsibly and safely.
ONLINE SAFETY WORKSHOPS AND PRACTICAL HELP:
Our school is partnered with Online Safety UK.
As part of this partnership we run two whole day 'live' workshops with Lee Haywood each academic year for both children and parents in school. The content of these reflect current trends, reports and concerns.
Parents are also able to access an online “live” presentation which changes approximately every three months with the newest trends, reports, and concerns. These are designed to fill parents & carers with information to go home and make a positive change. Currently, these parent events run once a month virtually.
DIGITAL PARENTING MADE EASIER
FACT SHEETS FOR POPULAR APPS AND GAMES
The fact sheets below are designed to help you make an informed decision about whether popular apps and games are a good choice for your child. They also include reviews from other parents.
Being SMART online
Follow the E-Safety SMART rules below to reduce online risks:
With your children...
- Remember that young children will mimic the adult behaviour that they see, so if they see you taking steps to keep yourself safe and secure online, they are more likely to do so. If you have a social media presence, they are likely to want one too.
- Maintain an open dialogue with your child and encourage them to talk to you about their internet use: for example who they’re talking to, services they’re using, and any issues they may be experiencing.
- Create a family agreement to establish your children’s boundaries, and your expectations, when on the internet.
- Give your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen, telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities.
- Consider using filtering software to block unwanted content. In addition to filtering, remember that discussion with your child, and involvement in their internet use, are both effective ways to educate them about the internet.
- Encourage your children to ‘think before you post.’ Online actions can impact not only yourself but the lives of others. Content posted privately online can be publicly shared by others, and may remain online forever.
- Encourage your children only to 'friend' or 'follow' those that they know in real life. Many social media and messaging sites encourage competition for having as many contacts as possible so it is very important to set this as a ground rule early on.
- Understand the law. Some online behaviour may break the law, for example when downloading or sharing content with others.
- Be able to recommend legal services.
- Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and reporting features available on popular sites and services.
- If your child is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken.
- Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which can help to indicate the level and suitability of the content. Also see if online reviews are available from other parents as these may be helpful.
- Set up a family email address that your children can use when signing up to new games and websites online.
- Encourage your children to use nicknames (where possible) instead of their full name online, to protect their personal information, and create strong passwords for every account.
- Sign up to our Childnet newsletter at www.childnet.com.
Web-filtering in School:
In School we use a web-filter called Smoothwall, the safest filter in UK Education to ensure that we provide the safest and most appropriate online learning possible for our children. It operates in real-time, which means that there is never any delay between dangerous content going live and our filter's ability to block it. Staff will always choose and check the suitability of a specific website or webpage prior to a lesson if we use the internet as part of children's learning. We also use Videolink (Safeyoutube), to view youtube content safely (and ad-free).