In today’s global society the Internet is a great place to connect with people, be creative and discover new things. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has an important role to play in the lives of young people and as ICT is being used more frequently, it is important to raise the issue of E-safety and promote safe and responsible usage of ICT in schools and at home. E-Safety is a national issue and we all must aim to ensure that the Internet is used in a safe manner. In addition to this, being aware of privacy settings, filters and safe usage of social networking sites will enable young people to feel protected online.
E-Safety in School
As part of the ICT curriculum, pupils in Key Stage 3 learn about what information should not be shared in a public domain. As well as this, pupils are educated about the Internet etiquette and guidelines that should be adhered to on social networking sites. PSHEE is also a key area where pupils are educated about E-Safety as the local police community support officer leads a presentation on E-safety, the dangers associated with Internet browsing and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour online. Key Stage 4 pupils also lead whole school assemblies on E-Safety and recognise the importance of privacy settings to ensure important information cannot be accessed by unknown individuals.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter continue to grow in terms of its popularity especially with children, some as young as 7 or 8 years old. Please click on the links below which aim to provide support regarding a range of key topics in relation to social networking.
Advice for Parents on Keeping Safe Online
Click here for the most recent National research about parental support for Young People.
- Many young people are very anxious regarding how their parents may react if they are made aware of their child’s activity online. In many instances this prevents children/young people from speaking out when something is happening to them online. It is important that, whilst children are made aware of boundaries to their behaviour and advised how to keep themselves safe, they are also made aware that it is?never too late to tell somebody?if something goes wrong.
- Encourage child/ren to think of an adult that they can trust to tell if somebody is frightening, upsetting or hurting them. This could be a parent, teacher, youth club worker or an agency like CEOP. Please emphasise to them that the main aim of that person will be try to keep them safe and to stop the behaviour that is causing them to be frightened or upset.
- If possible, remove or disable any webcam facility on the computer being used by the child/ren. Only reinstall this at times when a trusted adult is able to supervise their use of it.
- Parents should have access to all of their child’s online accounts and control the passwords. This includes email, Facebook, Skype and MSN etc. In addition, we encourage parents to routinely review children’s internet accounts to ensure that they are not placing them at risk or are not being exploited by way of their activities online.
- When children are considering using a new game, website or application, we encourage parents to check the terms of service for that game, etc. to ensure they are fully informed of the nature of the provision (i.e. are there live chat facilities/webcam etc provided) and so they are sure their child meets the minimum age requirements. Children must be aged 13 years and above to hold a Facebook account and other websites used by children will also have minimum age restrictions.
- Remember that internet connection is included within smartphones, tablets, iPods, laptops and games consoles, not just computers, so the same precautions should be taken with them.
- We would also suggest parents link all of their child’s accounts, including emails, to their own. This means any emails their child gets, they will also get, which should warn them if their child registers for inappropriate websites or is in receipt of any suspicious contact.
- We advise children not to talk to anyone online that they do not personally know offline. This is sometimes made difficult due to the nature of games such as MMOs or other online communities, so we encourage children not to move people across platforms (i.e. from games to facebook or from facebook to skype) unless they are known to them in real life.
- Parents should discuss the online identities that their child uses when online. Advise them of the risks in which they may place themselves if they portrays themselves as being older or if they create online personas that include suggestive nicknames, their own name and or age i.e. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. CEOP are often able to identify young people who come to notice, solely by the information they share within chats and their user names/online identities.
- SPAM - is really common among users. This type of message is computer generated and it is almost impossible to find its source. Unfortunately there is little that we at CEOP can do to stop it. Some messages request that a credit card is used to prove identity, under no circumstances should you disclose this information. I recommend that first of all, your child changes the passwords on their accounts and keeps them private at all times. It’s best to tell their contacts to do the same, as they could all be sending it to each other without knowing. It’s best they do not add anyone that they do not know to their instant messenger contacts, as this will make them more vulnerable to this type of thing. our child should block this contact and not accept them as a friend. It’s a good idea, that if they come across it again, they close the window straight away. Sometimes, replying to anything at all will let the SPAM know that your account is active, so they will keep sending it to you. The best way to avoid this type of message is to close their account and reopen a new one with a new online address but we recognise that this is not always convenient. This would stop the messages appearing on their account, or those that were contacts.
- We also recommend that parents and children have a look a ?www.thinkuknow.co.uk. This is a CEOP website that has separate sections for parents and young people and has some great tips on how to stay safe online.
In the News
What 'Apps' does your child use? Latest article highlights the danger of an app called 'Oovoo' which young people sometimes download. For further details, please follow this link: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/oovoo-parents-claim-paedophiles-using-5261559
Cyberbully: A chilling real-time thriller starring Maisie Williams - from Game of Thrones - as a teenager battling with an anonymous cyber-stalker. The plot of Cyberbully is inspired by dozens of real-life cases.
Parents and Carers
Ensure the computer is kept in an area of the house, where it is easier to monitor what young people are accessing online.
Make the most of Internet filtering software and use your web browser’s controls to enable security on different websites.
Inform children not to share their personal information online.
Create a "code of conduct" policy where young people are involved in creating rules which must be abided by when using the Internet at home.
Be online together! Browsing the Internet with your child and being involved in their ‘online world’ will promote online safety.
How to protect YOUR child and their Smartphone: https://www.tigermobiles.com/2015/05/how-to-protect-your-children-on-their-smartphone/
Do not post any personal information online including your phone number, address, passwords or your school.
SPEAK UP! If you viewed something online that made you anxious, unsafe or uncomfortable, please speak to an adult that you trust.
If you do not know someone, why are they "your online friend" or "follower"?
Privacy settings should always be kept to a maximum. Use the search engines on social networking websites to find out how to do this.
Think carefully when "posting" or "sharing" a photo online. Remember, once a photo is posted online, people will be able to share or download the photo.
Websites and Phone Numbers
Childline – 0800 1111
StopitNow – 0800 1000900
NSPCC - 0808 800 5000
Useful Web Articles