In the current world, e-safety is an integral part of children's lives, as technology is ever-changing and is becoming a huge aspect of modern life. Whilst this technology has lots of benefits, as the internet is forever growing and changing, it is crucial that children know how to use the internet and digital media in a safe and secure way.
Information for children:
At St Andrew’s, we stay safe by following five SMART tips:
- Safe - Staying safe involves being careful and not giving out your name, address, mobile phone no., school name or password to people online.
- Meeting someone you meet in cyberspace can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents'/carers' permission and then when they are present.
- Accepting e-mails or opening files from people you don't really know or trust can get you into trouble - they may contain viruses or nasty messages.
- Remember someone online may be lying and not be who they say they are. If you feel uncomfortable when chatting or messaging end the conversation.
- Tell your parent or carer if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.
Useful Websites for Children:
Information for parents:
The internet has changed all of our lives, particularly our children’s - they use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves. 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 a bit too much.
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? (CEOP, 2015)
Below you’ll find web links to gain practical tips and simple guidance.
Here are some top tips to keeping your children 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. Find your service provider and learn how to set your controls
Here are some conversation starter ideas from www.childnet.com :
- Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
- Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
- Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
- Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
- Think about how you use the internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online
Privacy settings are an important part of keeping our young children safe and you can find out more information about them here.
Useful websites for parents: