The Internet is a very useful tool to support learning. It is a great place to connect with people, be creative and discover new things. Digital and Information Communication Technologies have an important role to play in the lives of young people.
As these technologies are being used more frequently, it is important to raise the issue of Online Safety and promote safe and responsible usage of technologies in schools and at home. Online Safety is a national issue and we all must aim to ensure that the Internet is used in a safe manner. In addition to this, being aware of privacy settings, filters and safe usage of social networking sites will enable young people to feel protected online.
The range of potential issues that can arise within Online Safety can be extensive, but how we look to support students can be categorised into three areas of considerations:
Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.
If you have any concerns about keeping your child safe when using the internet you can find a parental guide on the Child Exploitation Online Protection website:
The Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet
‘The Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet’, has been created by CEOP to provide a light hearted and realistic look at what it takes to be a better online parent. The show covers topics such as, talking to your child about the technologies they use and the things they might see. This online guide aims to equip you with the tools to have those tricky conversations with your children and keep your family safe online.
The National Online Safety website has lots of free up to date guides for Parents and Carers on websites, games and social media platforms, please click on the link below for further information (you do not need to log on or join to use this).
Parents and Carers
- Ensure the computer is kept in an area of the house, where it is easier to monitor what young people are accessing online.
- Make the most of Internet filtering software and use your web browser’s controls to enable security on different websites.
- Inform children not to share their personal information online.
- Create a “code of conduct” policy where young people are involved in creating rules which must be abided by when using the Internet at home.
- Be online together! Browsing the Internet with your child and being involved in their ‘online world’ will promote online safety.
- Make sure you are old enough to join any sites including social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter
- Do not post any personal information online including your phone number, address, passwords or your school.
- Maybe use a made up name or nickname on your profile. – Do not make friends you don’t already know personally.
- Maybe use an email address that does not include your name.
- Always use a ‘strong’ password. That is, don’t use any names or words that someone might guess, like the name of your dog or your favourite singer. Use random letters or numbers and change your password regularly.
- Use the strongest privacy setting when you set up your profile. This means that only your friends will be able to view your information.
- Pictures and videos can be shared very easily across the internet, so make sure you are very careful when uploading – even if you only share it with friends, it can easily be spread much further than that.
- Be very careful about sharing content online – especially if it isn’t yours to share. Illegal downloads are definitely best avoided.
- Never meet up with anyone you have met online.
- Make sure you know about the safety features on any networking site. Some, for example, have a ‘panic button’ which you can press if you see something that shouldn’t be there.
- If anything happens online that you don’t like, tell someone.
- Think carefully when “posting” or “sharing” a photo online. Remember, once a photo is posted online, people will be able to share or download the photo.
- SPEAK UP! If you viewed something online that made you anxious, unsafe or uncomfortable, please speak to an adult that you trust.
- If you do not know someone, why are they “your online friend” or “follower”?
- Privacy settings should always be kept to a maximum. Use the search engines on social networking websites to find out how to do this.
If your child is subjected to any form of cyber bullying:
- Tell them not to reply
- Keep a record of the abuse for future investigation
- Tell someone in school or report the problem to the police
Be aware of the information that is visible via the webcam – i.e. names on certificates, posters of favourite pop stars
Extra information about keeping your child safe online or reporting a problem can be found on the following websites:
Child Rescue Alert Team
Child Rescue Alert is the nationwide alerting system with the potential to save a life in the event that a child is missing and believed to be at imminent risk of serious harm or death.
In the rare event that a Child Rescue Alert is issued, members of the public who are registered to receive the free alerts will have details of the missing child sent directly to them via text, email or app notification. Alerts will often be geo-located so you’ll know that you could make a difference by being on the lookout in your area.
Text to register costs your standard network text message rate. Obtain bill payer's permission. Customer care 0208 392 4571.