Tuesday 7th February is Safer Internet Day (SID). This is a global event where schools and other organisations promote the safe use of the internet. The focus of SID 2017 is ‘Be the change. Unite for a better internet’
It is important as a parent/carer that you support your child in the online world. This can be difficult with the rapid development of technology and the emergence of new Apps. Below are some key ways in which you can help your child on the internet:
- Apps – The most popular way for a child or young person to access different games or social network sites is via an App on their mobile device or games console. As a parent, you need to know what types of Apps they are downloading and whether they are suitable for them. A useful site is: www.commonsensemedia.org
- Privacy Settings – On some Apps, you can set up privacy settings to ensure that your child is only sharing personal information with people that you trust. There has been recent concern about a social meda App called Musical.ly with reports in the media of children not having private settings activated and receiving contact from unknown adults. For further information on how to change privacy settings with some of the most popular Apps, visit: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Support-tools/How-to-guides
- Parental Controls – Many electronic devices come with built in controls or parental settings. However, they are not default settings and you have to go online, in order to find out how you can restrict specific aspects of the device e.g. location settings. A useful site to help you do this is www.internetmatters.org
- Image Control – Many children use Apps such as Snapchat and Instagram to share pictures and videos. It is important they understand that sharing ‘selfies’ and pictures can provide further details of their private life e.g. which location they are taking images. In addition, children need to know that taking inappropriate or ‘dare share’ images and sharing them on the internet can be dangerous.
- Live Video – Over the past twelve months, live video Apps have become very popular. Facebook Live, Live.ly and ooVoo are ways in which children can watch live streams (this is a bit like watching someone’s own TV channel) or talking to several people via a ‘video chat’ facility. We must ensure that our children don’t accept or connect with random people on these sites, as there have been a number of incidents which have led to children viewing some very unpleasant videos.
The most important aspect of keeping your child safe in the online world is to talk to them and letting them know that if anything happens that upsets or worries them, then they can speak to you
If you would like any further support or have any concerns with regards to internet safety, please see Miss Beavis (E-safety Lead), Mrs Buttifant (Designated Safeguarding Lead) or your child’s class teacher.