Pupils in Key Stages 1 & 2 are asked to sign an ‘acceptable use’ policy to ensure they know how use the internet safely in school.
You may feel that your child is too young to be involved in misuse of the Internet and social networking sites or to know about such things. However, research shows that younger children are being involved in misuse and are a target for misuse by others. By raising their awareness at an early age of safety issues we feel they will be able to make a more informed choice about the use of the developing technology.
We hope that this page will help you as parents to keep your child safe when using the Internet at home. There are links to websites which offer good advice. As the use of technology is growing rapidly we need to prepare our children for a safer future.
Here are some links to useful resources that will help you understand how your children use the Internet, and what you can do to help them keep safe.
- NSPCC – Online Safety: what parents need to know. Advice on what children do on the internet, social networking websites and online games
- UK Safer Internet Centre – Here you can find a wide range of advice for parents from the UK Safer Internet Centre and other organisations working to help children stay safe online.
- K9 Web Protection – K9 is a Web filter that determines where the computer user can go inside your Web browser. We should remind you that blocking content only works up to a point. Children who want to, may find a way round the blocks (e.g. using a mobile phone/at friends houses etc.), so discussion and education with your children continue to be important.
- Know IT All for Parents – This website provides a unique, interactive guide to help you keep up to date with how your children use the Internet and how you can support them in keeping safe. It is produced by ChildNet International.
- ThinkUKnow for Parents – This website, from the child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, has a section dedicated to parents with lots of useful advice. In particular check out the parent webcast!
- MyGuide (Go-On.co.uk) – The MyGuide website provides a range of free online courses to help adults who are less confident users of computers and technology. As well as a whole range of general courses, the site includes courses on keeping yourself and your family safe online.
- Vodafone Advice for Parents – This website, from VodafoneUK, provides information on common technologies that young people use today, along with a range of advice on how to protect your family online and when using mobile phones.
- Social Networking – This website, from ChildNet International, gives some useful advice on social networking, which lots of young people use on a daily basis.
- NSPCC Advice for Parents – The NSPCC website has a section for parents with advice on Internet safety.
- T Mobile guide to Mobile Phone Safety – This section of the T Mobile website has useful advice regarding mobile phone safety for parents.
- Connect Safely – This website is American, but contains useful information for parents on how young people are using technology, and what the risks may be.
- Get Net Wise – As well as lots of information on how to keep your children safe, this website has a very useful video tutorial showing how you can set privacy settings and parental controls on your computer.
- Get Safe Online – Sponsored by many online companies, including PayPal, MSN as well as the British Government, click the image below to visit.
Top tips for Parents
Here are our five top tips for helping to keep your children safe using the Internet.
- TALK – Talk with your children about what they are doing online. Find out which websites they visit and how they communicate with their friends online. Are they using instant messaging programs like MSN Messenger, or are they texting their friends using their mobile phone? Make sure your children know they can come and talk to you or another trusted adult if they are worried or upset about anything that happens online.
- RULES – Together with your children, draw up a set of responsible rules about using the Internet that the whole family agrees to. Think about what is reasonable for the age of your children, and make sure they are balancing the amount of time they spend online with the amount of time they spend on other activities.
- KEEP INFORMATION SAFE – Make sure your children understand the importance of keeping their personal information safe. Posting personal information on websites, or sending messages, can lead to strangers getting hold of it. Items of personal information such as full name, address, telephone numbers, photographs and school name should all be kept secret and not posted online. Encourage your children to think about who else might be able to see what they post on websites or send in messages.
- KEEP AN EYE OUT – Keep the family computer in an area where you can keep an eye on your children as they use it. Remember that children can also access the Internet from other devices such as mobile phones, portable music players and games consoles. As children become older you may feel it is appropriate for them to have a computer in their bedroom or a laptop, consider installing suitable safety software that will alert you if they do something that might put them in danger.
- MEETINGS – The internet allows young people to make new friends across the country and world, allowing them to learn about new cultures and places. However, make sure your children know that they should NEVER meet anyone they only know online, unless they take you or another responsible adult with them.
Children and adults alike enjoy spending time on gaming consoles but do you know how to help keep them safe?
Modern games consoles and devices can allow access to the Internet through wireless or wired connections. This allows children to play games with their friends or other people online without the need to be in the same room as each other. It can allow them to send messages, speak or see each other whilst gaming. This adds to the fun but can also mean that children may be playing a game with people they don’t know. It’s worth looking at the device and consoles your children have and see whether they allow the Internet connection.
Most games will allow you to set parental controls restricting the age rating of games they play, and also regulating how the devices can access the Internet. Refer to information that came with the machine for help.
‘Ofcom’ have produced a useful guide to parental controls for games consoles. This will give you more information of the types of control available to parents. They also have a wide range of other parental advice available.