New technology is transforming our world. Students interact with technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet on a daily basis and experience a wide range of opportunities and situations. The social interaction and learning opportunities are greatly beneficial but can occasionally place young people in danger. They need to learn ways they can take care of their own safety and security.
As a school we endeavour to develop skills and attitudes that equip students for our increasingly technological society. To do this we all have to work within a framework which allows for safety and security and raises awareness of issues affecting our school and the wider community.
Internet use is a part of the curriculum and a necessary tool for the school community. Students will learn how to locate, retrieve and exchange information using ICT.
How to protect your child online? Education and Digital Citizenship start at home!
Useful links :
Be involved in your child’s online life. For many of today’s young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the internet to socialise and grow, and just as you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too. Talk to them about what they’re doing, if they know you understand they are more likely to approach you if they need support.
Watch ‘Thinkuknow’ films to learn more. The ‘Thinkuknow’ programme has films and advice for children from five all the way to eighteen. Your child will have seen these at school, but they can also be a good tool for you to find out more about what young people do online and some of the potential risks.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. 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 continue to discuss boundaries so that they evolve as your child’s use of technology does.
Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Your child will use all sorts of devices and gadgets; make sure you are aware of which ones can 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 your safety settings are being applied.
Consider the use of 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 are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.
Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are. Make sure your child knows never to meet up with someone they only know online. People might not always be who they say they are. Make sure your child understands that they should never meet up with anyone they only know online without taking a trusted adult with them.
Know what to do if something goes wrong. Just as in the offline world, you want to help your child when they need it. Therefore, it is important to know when and how to report any problem.
We would wholly recommend that you visit the advice site www.thinkuknow.co.uk where you will find excellent information and guidance relating to the safe use of all digital methods of communication.
Here are some very useful websites for parents and students:
This link leads to the safety policy for Facebook and provides tips for staying safe while using the social network.
Here you will find a series of resources on internet safety for children.
This website, from CEOP and Parent Zone, provides essential advice on many aspects of caring for young people, from dealing with Fitness Apps, helping healthier eating and staying safe online.
Has someone done something online that has made you or a child or young person you know, feel worried or unsafe? CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) is an organisation which helps children stay safe online. If someone acted inappropriately towards you online, or to a child or young person you know, such as being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone being insistent on meeting up, it is very important that you tell someone. You can report it to CEOP by clicking the link on the image below.
Please find below the latest information and guidance for parents from CEOP on protecting our young people from the vicious circle of selfies and nudes photographs on social media.
Education and confidence in talking about these issues help breaking the cycle.
A study of over 5,000 girls aged between 10 to 17 in 14 countries found that more than half of girls had low body esteem. In the age of the ‘Gram’ and shows like Love Island, it can be difficult for your people to feel positive about their body especially more value is placed on how many likes and comments they get on a selfie on social media.
Today, more children and young people are unsatisfied with the way they look and this can lead to worrying trends around eating disorders and other mental health issues.
To understand how you can help your child maintain a positive body image, see advice from our experts in our latest ‘What The Experts Say’ article from Internetmatters.org
Sharon is a working Mum with four children aged from 10 to 17. Not surprisingly, they talk about the Internet and social media regularly, but Sharon understands first-hand that things can still go wrong. See what she does to help her children recover from challenges online.
We have recently dealt with issues coming from an app called Discord. It is a social media platform that enables teens to talk online with a focus on gaming. Recently we have seen students accounts being hacked and inappropriate messages sent from strangers. The incident has been reported to CEOP thanks to the maturity of our students who acted and reported the issue to our team.
This highlights once again the importance of trust and dialogue with our young children who must feel confident to speak up.
Discord has a history of hacking and online bullying.
For more information on discord please check https://blog.discordapp.com/parents-guide-to-discord-c77d91793e9c
And on how to report online incidents to CEOP please check https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
Keeping up with Children on the Internet
A leaflet produced by Childnet International and includes internet safety guidance for parents and carers.
HSCB: Protect Children Prevent Abuse
Information with advice and support for parents and families.
Files from E-Safety Evening for Parents and Carers held on 02/10/18
Useful resources on apps and gaming, with helpful tips for parents/carers on parenting in the digital world from the National Online Safety and Childnet.com