The internet and related technologies, including mobile phones, games consoles and social networks and other apps are becoming increasingly important in the daily lives of our students and have many positive benefits. They can be used both educationally and socially and are becoming part of a child’s identity. Socially our children often use the internet for entertainment, interaction, and communication with friends. Access to the internet can take place anywhere and at any time so we need to make sure our children are able to use the internet safely. Many children are unaware of the risks - for example by having many online friends (who could be strangers), uploading inappropriate images, viewing unsuitable content or sharing too much personal information.
Information about setting up filtering in your own home and for children to stay safe online can be found below. The challenge for parents, carers and teachers is to make sure our children are aware and understand how to be safe when using the internet and related technologies. In our ever changing World, and with damaging new online threats such as MOMO, we need to work in partnership to ensure that our students use the internet in a positive and productive way where they feel safe and secure.
Some Key Advice for Children:
- Keep your personal details private and turn off location services on social media
- Think before you post, send or forward
- Do not share your password with others
- Don’t arrange to meet up with someone you only know online, and tell a trusted adult if someone asks
- Tell a trusted adult if anything happens online that worries or upsets you
- Be careful who you video call or share live streaming content with online - see link below for more guidance
What Parents Can Do:
· Regularly discuss the kind of websites that your child uses, how to set safety features and how to report concerns
· Advise your child to set social network profile settings to private then ask them to show you that they have done it
· Ask your child about their online friends and warn them that some people create fake online identities
· Remind your child that someone you have not met in the offline world is not a friend
· Set appropriate Parental Controls on your child’s computer, mobile and games console
· Agree with your child that they will tell you something if they are worried about something online
· Restrict use of the internet ‘out if sight’, for example in the bedroom with a closed door at night
· Remember that most social media platforms are for students aged 15 or above
· Never allow your child to buy games/apps or services online using your credit card details without your supervision
Setting up Parental Controls
Internetmatters.org provides a step by step guide for parents to set up controls and privacy settings for a wide range of apps, including Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram and YouTube. On YouTube, for example, Restricted Mode is an opt-in setting that helps screen out explicit and adult content to protect your children when they use YouTube. It also screens out comments on all videos your child watches. On the SnapChat App, you can apply restrictions following the process below:
1. Tap on the gear icon on the right side of the Profile screen
2. Scroll to ‘Who can…‘ section of the page and select ‘Contact Me‘. Here you can choose who can contact your child directly with Snaps, Chats, calls and more. We’d recommend that this is set to ‘My Friends‘ so that strangers cannot directly contact your child. Note that even if the “My Friends” option is selected, anyone your child is in a group with will be able to communicate with them.
3. Again in the ‘Who can…‘ section, tap on ‘View My Story‘. Here you can choose who can see your child’s ‘Story’ or tap on ‘Custom’ to block specific friends from seeing your child’s ‘Story’. We would recommend setting this to ‘My Friends‘ so that only your child’s friends can see this story.
4. Reporting on SnapChat: This can be done by pressing and holding the Snap to see the ‘Report Snap’ menu and then selecting the reason for reporting the Snap.
5. To block, report or remove a friend, select the gear icon to see your profile menu, select ‘My friends’. Tap the user that you’d like to amend and select the relevant option from the menu and confirm the change.
Information on Parental Controls for your home broadband
· Talk Talk: http://sales.talktalk.co.uk/product/homesafe
· Sky: http://www.sky.com/shop/broadband-talk/broadband-shield/staying-safe-online
· Virgin Media: http://store.virginmedia.com/discover/broadband/security/web-safe.html
· BT: http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/products/manage-broadband-extras
Some useful websites to support Parents:
· www.parentinfo.org - developed out of a partnership between CEOP and The Parent Zone and contains lots of good eSafety advice.
· www.saferinternet.org.uk - Here you will find e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet.
· www.childnet.com- An organisation working directly with children, parents and teachers to ensure that the issues of online child protection and the safe and positive use of the internet are addressed.
· www.thinkuknow.co.uk - The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre has set up its own website which has been designed and written specifically for children, young people, teachers, parents and carers.
· http://parents.vodafone.com/ - Being very accessible, this provides information and guidance to parents to help under the digital world. There is also an online test to see how much you know.
We will be regularly posting Online Safety updates in a new section of our termly newsletter. If you have any further questions please contact the Year Office.