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Online Safety

Online Safety

Please see link (left) to our Online Safety Newsletters.

We want to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people, and to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively.

Have conversations without judgement.

Whether by playing games, watching videos, or doing things your child enjoys, spending time together online is a great way to start conversations about the online world and how they’re finding being a part of it. It is important to ask questions and take an interest in what your child enjoys online.

An essential part of having this open dialogue is to not judge, even if their behaviour or life online isn’t what you wanted or expected. This ensures that your child feels they can come to you if ever they make a mistake or experience a problem online.

Knowing where you can learn more about their favourite apps and games.

Websites like Common Sense Media or The Family Gaming Database can be invaluable sources of information. When your child starts talking about a new game or app, why not do some research into the reporting and blocking options available? Then you can help your child if they come to you with an issue.  Also learn more about parental controls Parental Controls & Privacy Settings Guides - Internet Matters

Getting support if things go wrong.

There are lots of organisations who are there to support you and your family if something has gone wrong. The Report Harmful Content website can help you with issues such as cyberbullying, impersonation and threats. You can report worrying behaviour towards children to CEOP. Find out more on Childnet’s Get Help page.

Reassuring your child that whatever happens online, you are there to support them.

Let your child know that the best way to address any problem they have online, is to tell a trusted adult immediately. For example, this might include someone sending them a friend request; an online message; telling them to visit a specific website, or app; or asking them for their personal information. Reassure them that if anything happens online that they are unsure about, or makes them feel worried or upset, they can come to you for help.

Golden rules for keeping children safe include:

  • Always keep the family computer in a public place such as a communal room where you can easily see the screen
  • Set up filter systems on your computer that block unsuitable material
  • Invest in good antivirus/spyware/pop-up blocking software if your computer does not have it already
  • Stay involved and engaged with your children's online behaviours. Talk to your children about what they are doing on the internet and get them to show  you what games or chat rooms they use
  • Ensure that you have read the terms and conditions for responsible use of the particular sites and that you adhere to the minimum age restrictions for all children (not just your own) who may gain access to it. This is particularly important with media such as social networking sites, computer games, YouTube, iPlayer, music videos and DVDs because of the associated risks
  • Help children to realise that things written on the social networking sites are published and can be seen by other users, and that therefore any posts must be polite and fair, and not lead to another person feeling demeaned, harassed or bullied
  • Reinforce the smart rules at home (available on the Know it all website). These are
  • safe - not giving out any personal information;
  • tell - tell someone if you see something that you don't like or upsets you; and
  • meet - don't meet up with someone you have met online
  • Show children how to use the internet and help them not to be afraid of it as it is a wonderful resource