Does your child use any of these?
- a mobile phone
- the Internet
- a social networking site such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube or Twitter
- Facetime, Skype, or other instant messengers
If the answer is yes, then your child is potentially at risk.
As parents and carers, our natural desire is to keep our children safe. From learning to cross the road, ride a bike or swim, parents have to teach, guide and support their children - the online world is no different. The best ways to defend against online risks are openness, awareness and education.
E-Safety - Summing up the risks
- Content - sexual, racist, violent, unreliable/bigoted eg safety of children’s minds.
- Commerce - scams, phishing, browser redirects, downloads which steal information - children’s and parents!
- Contact - via interactive technologies - Instant Messaging, chat, multiplayer games, grooming.
- Culture - bullying, camera phones, blogging, social networking.
So what can we do………?
Setting up parental controls on your home broadband is quick and easy to do. All the major broadband providers offer this facility and allow you to block certain categories of website. Some let you set time limits and also block individual websites. There is a fantastic guide available at www.internetmatters.org/controls/interactive-guide/ which gives you step-by-step guidance to setting parental controls across many different devices, including those used for gaming.
Social Networking Sites
Making a decision on whether to allow your child to have access to Social Networking websites can be tricky. If you do allow them to use social media, whether they are under 13 or not, here are some ground rules that work for many parents:
- Use privacy settings. Privacy settings aren't foolproof, but they can be helpful.
- Encourage your children to think before they post. Remind them that everything can be seen by a vast, invisible audience and, once something's online, it's hard to take back.
- Be a friend and follower. It's a good idea for parents to have access to their children’s pages, at least at first, to be sure that what's being posted is appropriate. Perhaps use a parent’s email address when registering, so that you can view any notifications. Knowing your child’s passwords is also a good idea.
- Keep private information private. Don't share your home address or any other sensitive information online.
- Be respectful of others. The feeling of being anonymous can have a detrimental effect on children’s behaviour, as they may say mean things without fear of consequences. Make sure they understand that the Internet is a giant community that works best when everyone respects each other.
- Reporting and block features. Teach children how and when to use them.
E-Safety tips for Parents of Primary School Children
Put yourself in control - Make use of the parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices. You can find out how by visiting www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls.
Search safely - Use safe search engines such as swiggle.org.uk or www.kids-search.com. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines as well as YouTube. You can find out more at safety.google/intl/en_uk.
Agree boundaries - Be clear what your child can and can’t do online - where they can use the internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share. Agree with your child when they can have a mobile phone or tablet.
Explore together - The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about it. Keep computers and other mobile devices in a communal area, so you can see what sites they’re visiting, and they can share interesting sites with you.
Check if it's suitable? - The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. The minimum age limit is 13 for several social networking sites, including Facebook and Instagram.
For further advice, visit these useful websites -
Roblox advice - Roblox is an online multiplayer game where children can play and communicate with anyone who has the game on their computers. Children can speak to each other via chat rooms within the game. We have been informed of some incidents which have occurred in relation to the game.
Momo advice - Momo is an unknown source that has been uploaded to a few different apps/websites. It is a distressing character that may be provoking children to be violent to themselves and others. See attachments below for more information and guidance.
Minecraft advice - Minecraft is an online game where children can build and create worlds, children can join each other's worlds to build together. Some features of the game might be deemed inappropriate for certain aged children. For more information on how to keep your children safe on Minecraft, see attachments below.