With increasing numbers of young people having access to internet enabled devices, such as smartphones, iPods and iPads, we need to make sure everyone understands the risks associated with being on the internet.
Many schools run e-safety weeks and parents' meetings to raise awareness. The information and links to resources on this page will help parents and carers find out more about how to stay safe.
We know of the many benefits of using the internet, but the risks involved include:
Loss of control over your information
Your content could stay online forever (your digital footprint)
Can your information be used against you?
Misrepresentation of identity (grooming)
Viewing inappropriate content
Misrepresentation of oneself (pretending to be older, or even someone else)
In schools, we start teaching e-safety from age 4, showing children how important passwords are and how to be polite online. We also remind them never to talk to strangers and to tell an adult they trust if they encounter anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
For slightly older children we talk about the 4 Cs:
Content- Dealing with nasty comments and age inappropriate content that causes offence.
Contact- When using chat rooms, gaming and social networking sites, do they know who they are talking to? Do they know what the report abuse symbol is for?
Conduct- How they behave online. Are they a good digital citizen? This includes understanding illegal downloads, plagiarism and creating inappropriate or even illegal materials. Commercial - Understanding scams and cyber tricks. Remembering to log out at the end of a session and understanding 'in app' and '1-click' purchasing backed onto credit cards.
Here are our top tips for online safety.
Passwords - always keep your id and password secret. Change your password if you think someone knows it.
“Treat your password like your toothbrush”
Be polite - don't overshare
Never give out personal information such as real name, password, phone number, address or school - use nicknames if you need to
Be careful what you post. Be careful about what you say in chatrooms, treat it as a public space (digital footprint)
Never agree to meet anyone in person that you know from online - it may be an adult posing as a young person
Don’t share photos that are private between you and your friends
Tell your parents if you feel uncomfortable or if you are being bullied online:
Don’t respond, save message, tell an adult.
When gaming online remember these tips still apply
What parents and carers can do at home.
Be part of your child's online world in the same way you are part of their physical/emotional world.
Keep computers/devices in family rooms.
Know what they are doing, ask them to teach you.
Enable safe search.
Check age ratings on games and videos and sites. (Remember you need to be 13 to have a Facebook account)
Talk and keep control/access.
Make sure your child knows what the report abuse symbol is for.
Watch this fascinating BBC video about over sharing on the internet.
Read on for more general information, further reading and some excellent resources.
Following the publication of Dr Tanya Byron's report "Safer Children in a Digital World" from March 2008 which reviewed the risks children face from the internet and video games, a set of actions and recommendations have been accepted by the UK government. In summary, the Byron Review Action Plan outlines the following:
Setting up of the new UK Council for Child Internet Safety
Founded in 1999, multi award-winning Beatbullying empowers young people to lead anti-bullying campaigns in their schools and local communities, and builds the capacity of local communities to sustain the work.http://www.beatbullying.org
The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) brings together organisations from industry, charities and the public sector to work with the Government to deliver the recommendations from Dr Tanya Byron's report - Safer Children in a Digital World. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/ukccis/