Online Safety - Advice for Parents
As a parent it can be very difficult to allow your child the freedom to develop as a responsible individual, whilst still protecting them from the dangers of the internet. Through various social media platforms, children are increasingly conducting their social life online. It is important that they receive guidance to ensure they behave responsibly and safely.
We recommend that you talk regularly with your child about their communication with people online.
We recommend that computers (and all other web-enabled devices) are kept in family rooms.
Online Safety - Social Networking
Try and ensure your child sticks to age appropriate websites. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter require users to be 13 years or older to have a profile, however younger children set up accounts anyway. Social networks provide a space for self-expression but there are no guarantees of privacy, it is essential that children are made aware of the risks when posting online.
Parents must take responsibility for the use of social media
If your child uses any social media platform, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with their terms and conditions. A requirement of most social media platforms is that parents take responsibility for their children’s usage.
Privacy settings should be restricted to Friends Only
This will help to reduce the risk of information about children getting into the wrong hands. This can never be completely secure however, as even posts that are restricted to Friends only can be shared or copied by others. Everything posted on social media must be treated as public. Profile pictures will always be public.
Children should not post too much personal information
Social media encourages users to share as much information as possible. Children should remain as anonymous as possible.
Online Safety - What we tell our pupils
We regularly educate our pupils about online safety in ICT lessons. Below are some of the key online safety tips we share.
Do not post too much information about yourself...
Never share personal details like your surname, address, phone number or school. Information that you post online can always be shared or copied, even if you have your security settings set to ‘Friends Only’ or similar.
Only communicate with people that you know in real life...
There are many bad people online who could pretend to be your friend. If someone you do not know contacts you, talk to your parents.
Think about the photos you are posting...
Photos give away more information than you may realise. Is there something in the background that gives away your location or a book with your full name written on it. Silly pictures will always be shared and saved, which could cause embarrassment in the future. Always check with your parents before posting images.
Treat people with the same respect you would in real life...
If you say something rude or unkind about someone online you could find yourself in serious trouble. Bullying people online is still bullying. Talking to someone online is not the same as talking face to face - there is a record of what you said, so it is very difficult to take your comments back.
Tell your parents if you see anything on the internet that makes you feel uncomfortable...
If anybody says something, sends something, or you see anything that makes you uncomfortable get your parents immediately - they can help you and ensure that it doesn't happen again.
Respect your family’s rules about the internet...
Parents can make sure you have fun with the internet, while helping you stay safe.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place using technology. This form of bullying can take place on social media sites, on mobile phones or other computer devices. Parents and carers need to be aware that most children are involved in cyberbullying in some way, either as a victim, perpetrator or bystander.
What are the signs of Cyberbullying?
Here are some signs to spot cyberbullying. Be alert to a change in your child’s behaviour, for example:
- Being upset after using the internet or phone;
- Unwilling to talk or secretive about their online activities and mobile phone use.
- Spending much more or much less time texting, gaming or using social media.
- Not wanting to go to school and/or avoiding meeting school friends.
What do you do if you suspect a child is being Cyberbullied?
If you suspect your child or another young person is being bullied over the internet there are several things you can do for help. At Drapers’ Brookside you can ask to speak to the Safer Schools Officer, PC Wayne Hopkins, who regularly visits the school.
CEOP Report Button
The NCA’s CEOP Command is here to help children and young people. We are here to help if you are a young person and you or your friend (up to age 18) has been forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity with anyone online, or in the real world. We also have advice and links to support for other online problems young people might face, such as cyberbullying and hacking. Visit our Safety Centre for advice and to report directly to CEOP, by clicking on the Click CEOP button.