Online Safety Newsletter
The internet has changed all of our lives, particularly for children. For parents and carers this opens up a whole new world of things to be aware of. For many of us, this can all be slightly daunting! We regularly speak to pupils regarding staying safe online, using a variety of resources and lesson themes.
You might be struggling to keep up with the things your child is doing online, you might wonder whether what they are doing is safe, and you might also be thinking how can I be as good a parent online as I am offline?
Top Tips for keeping your child safe online
- Talk to your child about what they're up to online. Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems.
- Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child. The Thinkuknow site has films, games and advice for children from five all the way to 16.
- Encourage your child to go online and explore! There is a wealth of age-appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.
- Keep up-to-date with your child's development online. Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It's important that as your child learns more, so do you.
- Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
- Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don't want to see.
- Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you're aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet - is it your connection, or a neighbour's wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
- Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child's online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.
If you or anyone you know is worried about Child Exploitation, Online Protection or anything related to Internet safety please click the link below which will take you to the CEOP reporting website:
Tips for staying safe online:
- Make sure you keep new online friends strictly online. If someone you don't know asks to be your online friend you must ensure an adult knows about it.
- Know how to use the CEOP Button and how to report it to the CEOP Centre if you are concerned about someone’s online behaviour towards you.
- Always ask a grown up before you use the internet. They can help you find the best thing to do.
- Don't tell strangers where you live, your phone number or where you go to school. Only your friends and family need to know that.
- Don't send pictures to people you don't know. You don't want strangers looking at photos of you, your friends or your family.
- Tell a grown up if you feel scared or unhappy about anything.
- You can also call Childline on: 08001111 to talk to someone who can help.