Cyber Safety at Home
Today is Safer Internet Day – this year’s theme is ‘Play your part for a better internet’. This theme encourages children to think about how they play a part in making the internet a positive place, and consider what to do if they experience anything negative online. The theme for Safer Internet Day 2016 highlights the issues and concerns that young people have when they’re online, but the theme primarily focuses on practical solutions and responding appropriately to negative content so that we can all ‘play our part for a better internet’.
At school we had an assembly focussing on this theme with follow up activities in class. Every child has played a part in #Shareaheart by creating their own message thorough artwork or words. We would like to share our messages with the wider community.
We will also conduct the annual e-safety questionnaire with all children this week.
For advice on how to help your child use the internet safely, click on the following documents:
Parent Factsheet (New)
Share Aware NSPCC (New)
Talk to your child about what they’re up to online. Be part of their online life: 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.
Encourage you 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. You need to keep up!
Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online.
Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of Primary School age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and are aware if they see something they don’t want to see.
Know what connect to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Be aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as this will affect whether the safety settings you set are being applied.
Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, game consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just 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.
CREATE a user account for your child on the family computer with appropriate settings & make the most of Parental Controls & tools like Google Safe Search
AGREE a list of websites they’re allowed to visit & the kind of personal information they shouldn’t reveal about themselves online (like the name of their school or their address)
DECIDE time limits for things like using the internet & playing on games consoles
BEAR in mind what older siblings might be showing them on the internet, mobiles, games consoles & other devices & agree some rules as a family
TALK to other parents about their views & don’t be pressured by your child into letting them use new technologies
MAKE sure you’ve set some tech boundaries before they get their first mobile or games console – once they have it in their hands it can be more difficult to change the settings
REMIND your child to keep phones, etc well hidden to minimise the risk of theft
TALK to them about what they post & share online – written comments, photos & videos form part of their digital ‘footprint’ & could be seen by anyone & available online forever
DISCUSS the kind of things they see online – they might be looking for more information about their changing bodies & exploring relationships for example
HOLD the line on letting your child sign up for services like Facebook & YouTube that have a minimum age limit of 13
We believe that internet safety education is a crucial element of the curriculum and an essential part of young people’s development. Please visit the following sites to help enable you to strengthen and reinforce the safety messages that your children receive in school, in your home environment.