Students are taught about e-safety through a range of ways including IT lessons, PSHE and Assemblies. The internet has become part of our everyday lives, whether accessed from a computer, mobile phone or other devices. It is used to buy and sell goods, online banking, finding information and socialising. It can also have a darker side, children and young people are more at risk of exposure to inappropriate or criminal behaviour if they are unaware of dangers.
These dangers can include:
- viewing unsuitable content e.g. hate material, adult content, sites that endorse unhealthy behaviour
- giving out personal information
- arranging to meet an online ‘friend’
- becoming involved in, or the victim of, bullying, identity theft, or making and sending indecent or illegal images
- spending too much time online which can effect concentration, education, sleep and health
- copying information from the Internet or buying work from other people to use as their own.
Families can visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents to access advice and support on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse, both online and off. Articles provide guidance on topics as diverse as: challenging harmful sexual attitudes and promoting positive behaviours; helping a child with autism negotiate life online; supporting a child who has been sexually abused; and dealing with a range of online issues such as sending nude selfies and viewing pornography. Users will find films, downloadable guides and useful links to support organisations.
How up to speed are we as parents with the networks and apps our kids are using ? To help us as parents, the NSPCC, in conjunction with O2 have created ‘ Net Aware’ a web-site where we can find no-nonsense guides for parents about the most popular social networks, apps and games, in order to help us as parents keep our kids safe on-line.
You can access Net Aware here: www.net-aware.org.uk
Once on the website, you will see the most popular apps images pop up. If you click on the app icon, you can find lots of information about the network such as the minimum age, what children like about the network and so on. As you scroll down, you will also be able to see the views of other parents up and down the country, what they feel are the good bits of each app and what they feel the dangers are. You fill also find for each app, ‘dashboards’ which indicate the risk factors based again on the experiences of young people and their parents – You Tube for one, does not fare too well.
You will also be able to find advice on how to talk to your kids about what they doing on-line and how to talk about on-line safety with them – click on ‘talk about staying safe’.
For each network, O2 also give a safety review and they also have a scheme called ‘The O2 Guru’ – You can book an in-store appointment with the Guru (even if you do not use them as a network) by going to the following sentence and clicking on ‘here’ which will take you to a form to book an appointment:
‘For face to face advice and support, you can also book a free in-store appointment with an O2 Guru here (even if you’re not with O2).’
You can also call them free on 0808 800 5002 (The Online Safety Helpline) where you can get on-line safety advice such as how to set up parental controls, adjust privacy settings, social networking etc.
Parents and carers often feel that they are behind children in their knowledge of social media so we would encourage you to read the recent editions of #Ditto below. These are free online-safety magazines giving advice and guidance related to keeping children safe online.
If you wish to look at back issues or subscribe to #Ditto please click here