Staying Safe online
Our children's safety is always our priority. With an ever changing online world, it is vital that we try to keep up with what is going on so that we can keep our children safe.
You wouldn't let your child wander off into London without knowing where they were and who they were talking to. In the same way please don't let your children wander around the virtual world without having the same knowledge.
Be share aware
Share Aware offers simple, step–by–step advice that will help you have the right conversations with your children about online safety.
Learn how to untangle the web through the Icebreaker email series. In just six weeks you'll be an expert in a child's online world and how to spot potential risks.
E-Safety Advisor - Monthly Newsletters
Alan McKenzie is a e-safety advisor who works in many different schools across the country.
He has his own website that promotes e safety and regularly publishes a newsletter with all of the latest information in it.
You can access Alan's web page at https://www.esafety-adviser.com/latest-newsletter//
The internet allows us all to explore, learn and develop. It allows us to be independent, to be in control, to develop our identities. It also allows us to create social connections with others.
These are great things and a reason to encourage children to use the internet.
Sadly, the internet is also a place where we can be taken advantage of and lied to. Just as in the real world, there are some people who will take advantage of the virtual world and use it to harm others.
Our children will use the internet.
It is vital that we teach them to stay safe.
Questions to ask children when they are online:
* What are you sharing? Can you share images and locations?
* Who are you sharing with?
* Can you 'chat' to other members? Is this chat public - ie in a chat room where others can see the messages, or is it private, where messages are only seen by the sender and the recipient.
* Is it a gaming site? Who are you playing with - ie other members, friends, strangers, the computer?
Rules to give children for online safety
* Never give out your address to anyone.
* Never give out your phone number.
* Tell your parents your passwords but NO ONE else.
* Never arrange to meet anyone you have met online without checking with your parents first.
* Never put pictures on line without checking with a parent that they are suitable.
* Do not respond to any messages that are rude or make you feel uncomfortable. ALWAYS tell an adult if this happens.
New apps are being developed almost daily. Many of these are free to download and can be very useful.
The main social media apps that children use are:
Houseparty Twitch (Group video chat) Live computer gaming
Discord - A Chat app (mainly about computer games)
Click on each of the App logos above to see more details about the Apps and securing your child's account
There are age restrictions in place on these apps and they are there in an effort to help your child stay safe.
If you allow your child to have an underage account it is vital that you know what they are posting and who they are communicating with.
Remember that not everyone is who they say they are and on many of these sites anyone can contact your child.
Click here for the Parents' guide to Instagram
For specific YouTube Guidelines published by CEOP (Child Exploitation and online protection) click here:
Please make sure that you are also up to date with the Apps' security settings. Many apps have a way of blocking unwanted contact and preventing the sharing of information. It is very important to talk to your child about their security settings and ensuring that they are as high as possible.
Children will keep up to date with the development of Apps far quicker than adults will, but there is help out there!
We advise that before downloading any new app you check it out on www.net-aware.org.uk
The NSPCC and 02 have got together to look at social media apps for children. This site lets you know what the app is and they are reviewed by parents like you. So please arm yourself with the information you need before letting your child use the app.
Please remember some apps are not what they seem.
These are apps that are designed to hide content. As if staying on top of all the other apps is not hard enough work as a parent or carer, there are some apps that are deliberately designed to ‘hide’ information, photos and communication on a phone or tablet. These apps are often discreet with their icon and look like any other app, such as a calculator, thus deceiving anyone except the phone user of its function: to hide inappropriate content.
These vault apps can be used to hide communication, such as sexting.
Secret calculator (iOS) looks like a calculator app, but once the user enters a code it accesses the secret storage. There is also a ‘secret’ camera function.
Private Photo Vault (Android, iOS) works in the same way as the secret calculator although is not as discreet with its icon. It also contains an unfiltered web browser that users can access, which overrides any safety browser you have in place on your child’s smartphone or tablet.
Best Secret Folder (iOS) prides itself on being hard to notice as a secret folder.
Tip to find out if your child has downloaded a vault app:
1. Log into the App store or the Play store.
2. Search for Vault Apps
3. If an app comes up and says 'open' then your child already has this app on their device. If the app says 'Get' then they do not have it.
Reporting online misuse or abuse
It is important that children and adults know how to report online behaviour that they feel is inappropriate or dangerous.
CEOP is the main way of reporting online abuse. This is an agency linked to the National Crime Agency and is responsible for child exploitation and online protection.
The 'click CEOP' button can be found on many social media websites and will enable anyone to report online abuse.
Please note that this is not a 24 hour service and if your feel a child is in immediate danger you should always call 999.
If you need to report a case of abuse please click the button below to be linked straight to the CEOP site to make your report.
On line bullying is another issue that is on the rise. Bullying no longer ends at the school gates.
If your child is being bullied on line it is important that they talk about this.
Our main advice is
* Do not respond to any messages that are rude or unpleasant.
* Keep evidence of anything you feel is bullying. This can be through screen grabs or printing.
* Talk to someone. Come into school to talk to us, contact the online provider or the police.
Kidscape also has some great advice. Click on the picture to find out more.
Childline is also a good place for children to go if they are feeling worried or concerned. We would obviously prefer that they speak with a trusted adult so that we can support them with the things they are worried about, but this is a great support for when children don't feel they can talk to us.
Using the internet with the whole family
It is currently thought that 1 in 4 children under the age of 6 has a smart phone and that more than 50% of children over 10 have their own as well.
If you want more control over what your children can access on line then this is a package you can use
Click on the icon to see how you can control not only what your child sees, but when they can see it!
Think about setting time limits and rules around your whole family's use of the internet and their device.
On Apple Devices .....
Family Sharing makes it easy for up to six family members to share App Store purchases and Apple subscriptions, including an iCloud storage plan and more – all without sharing an Apple ID. It includes the ability to set up an Apple ID for children, set permissions remotely with Screen Time and approve spending and downloads from a parent’s device. Your family can also share a photo album, a family calendar, and even help locate each other's missing devices.
On Android .....
Not all screen time is the same. Help your child make healthy decisions about what they do on their device, with activity reports showing how much time they are spending on their favourite apps.
Handy notifications lets you approve or block apps that your child wants to download from the Google Play store. You can also manage in-app purchases and hide certain apps on their device.
Don't forget - Be a role model for your child - don't stop their devices and then continue to use yours in front of them!
On Tiktok .....
You can use Digital Wellbeing to get more control over how much time your child spends on TikTok and limit content that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
On the whole internet .....
Sky Broadband Buddy lets you manage each screen in your home from an app on your phone or tablet. It’s like a remote for the internet with loads of great features.
Need to talk to someone?
Sometimes it's easier to talk about a problem. That's why 02 and NSPCC set up an advice line, to answer any questions you or your child might have about staying safe online.
Whether you're after techy advice on things like:
- information about an app or service in general
- privacy setting on apps
- parental controls on your wifi
Or want help with more personal matters such as:
- how to stop online bullying
- what to do about who your child's messaging
- how to talk about sexting.
They're there to help.
"Whatever you're worried about, big or small, give us a call on 0808 800 5002 for free, Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm . If your child's worried about you talking to us, you can call us together, and we'll reassure you both."