Whilst modern technology including the use of mobile phones, tablets, computers, TVs with online access, gaming stations, etc. offers our pupils lots of learning and social opportunities it also present an ever evolving range of risk.
In school we have strict online filters and pupils are monitored when using the internet.
At home it is important that parents maintain strict parental controls on access and they must regularly check what their child is accessing and who they are communicating with.
Parents should read the information below and use the links to ensure that you are prepared to help you child keep safe.
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.
Children and young people go online to connect with friends, and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may:
When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family.
There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your child safe online.
Talking to your child – openly, and regularly – is the best way to help keep them safe online.
You might find it helpful to start with a family discussion to set boundaries and agree what’s appropriate. Or you might need a more specific conversation about an app or website your child wants to use or something you’re worried about.
If you’re not sure where to start then here’s the advice you need – great ways to begin conversations to keep your child safe online. And you can always call our O2 and NSPCC online safety helpline for free expert advice.
Talk about what might be OK for children of different ages. Ask your child what sites or apps they like. Write a list, and look at them together.
Be positive about what you see, but also be open about concerns you have: “I think this site’s really good” or “I’m a little worried about things I’ve seen here”.
Talk to your child about what you think is appropriate – but also involve them in the conversation. Ask what they think is OK for children of different ages – they’ll feel involved in the decision-making.
Be aware that your child might talk about friends who use apps or visit sites that you’ve decided aren’t suitable. Be ready to discuss your reasons, but recognise that they may not agree with you. Listen carefully for the reasons why.
Go through a final list of sites you both agree are OK, and work out when you’ll next discuss it.
What parents need to know to help keep your child safe wherever and whenever they go online.
Ask about things they might see online which make them feel uncomfortable
Talk about things they, or their friends, have seen that made them feel uncomfortable:
Talk about how they can stay safe on social networks
Ask your child if they know:
Show them how to do these things. Use Net Aware to help you.
Talk about online privacy, and being Share Aware. Explain that online behaviour – including sharing personal information – should mirror behaviour in person.
Explain that talking to strangers isn’t always ‘bad’, but they should always be careful about what they share and sometimes people aren’t who they say they are.
Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to be and that you’re just looking out for them. Tell them they should speak up and not keep secrets if something is worrying them.
Reassure them that you’re interested in all aspects of their life. Say that you’d like to talk about stuff they’ve seen online, sites and apps they visit, and that you’ll share the things you’ve seen too. Recognise that they’ll be using the internet to research homework, for example.
Be Share Aware: talk about what’s OK, and not OK, to share online
Talk to your child about what ‘personal information’ is – such as email address, full name, phone number, address and school name – and why it’s important.
Explain simple ways to protect privacy. For example, avoiding usernames like birthdates or locations that give away too much information.
Discuss images and photos, and what might be appropriate. Help your child understand how photographs can give people a sense of your personality, and that sharing the wrong kind of image can give the wrong impression.
Explain that it isn’t easy to identify someone online. People aren’t always who they say they are, so don’t share personal information. If it’s someone who genuinely knows your child, they shouldn’t need to ask for personal information online.
Tell your child that if they’re in any doubt they should talk to you first.
The term ‘sexting’ is derived from texting and refers to the sending of sexually provocative material (including photos, videos and sexually explicit text) from modern communication devices or applications, such as mobile phones, tablets, email, social networking sites and instant messaging services.
CEOP have created ‘Nude Selfies: What Parents and Carers Need to Know’. This is a series of four short animated films for parents and carers offering advice on how to help keep their children safe from the risks associated with sharing nude and nearly nude images:
Additional resources connected with the above clips and other online resources can be found on their website: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers/resources
The NSPCC’s Share Aware campaign is at 8 to 12-year-old children and also features two animations I Saw Your Willy and Lucy And The Boy are engaging films with a serious message that follow the stories of two children who share too much about themselves online.
There are lesson plans and assembly resources that accompany this resource and they can be found at www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware
South West Grid for Learning created a resource ‘So you got naked online’ that offers children, young people and parents advice and strategies to support the issues resulting from sexting incidents.
‘‘Sexting’ in schools: advice and support around self-generated images: What to do and how to handle it’ contains practical advice about how schools should respond to an incident, including how to support a child whose image has been shared and whether or not devices can be searched.
The Statistics of Sexting by Selfie Cop offers the statistics around children’s and young people’s texting habits
Sexting: How to keep your child stay safe – NSPCC resource