Keeping Safe Online
During our computing and PSHCE lessons at school, we do lots of work with the children about how to stay safe online. During this time of home-schooling, we know that pupils may have more time to access online devices than usual; we want to make sure that parents are supported at home so that you can be confident that your child is safe online. Star have also produced some advice leaflets for pupils and parents which are available at the bottom of this page.
Please consider the following questions:
Have you activated parental controls on all the devices your children use to access the internet? Whilst our Academy has comprehensive safeguarding arrangements in place to ensure our pupils’ online safety, it is equally as important for parents to talk to their children about online safety and monitor their internet usage at home, using age-appropriate parental controls to restrict their access to inappropriate material. Parental controls can be activated on home broadband, search engines, YouTube, mobile phones and games consoles. Parents should also be aware that content filters may not always work if a child is using public Wi-Fi, so it is important to ensure their access to unprotected Wi-Fi is limited.
Can you see what your children are doing online? Children should only be accessing the internet where you can monitor their usage. This way, you can help them with any issues and can be confident they are behaving appropriately online.
Have you spoken to your children about how they should behave online? We do lots of work in school on how we should behave online but this is always best when backed up with support from you at home. You should encourage your child to act responsibly online and treat others as they would wish to be treated. You should also warn your child that they should never hide behind an anonymous username to make unkind comments or say something they would be reluctant to repeat during face-to-face interactions. Remind your child that the comments they make and the pictures and videos they post online may end up having a wider audience than they anticipated – and even if they delete them, there’s no guarantee that someone hasn’t already saved, downloaded or taken a screen shot of their post.
Does your child know what to do if they are upset by something they see online? Whilst it may not always be easy to talk to your child about challenging issues such as cyberbullying, if you are open and honest with them about the dangers they may encounter online, it may encourage them to confide in you in the future. If your child has been targeted online, the website Internet Matters offers detailed advice about who to report the incident to.
Are your children on age appropriate apps, websites and games? Children under the age of 13 should not be using social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat and Tiktok – this is stipulated in the sites’ terms and conditions. Games for computers, x-box, playstation and other consoles also have PEGI age ratings to ensure they are suitable for the person playing them. These are usually found on the box or can be searched for here: https://pegi.info/
- DfE Advice for Parents on Cyberbullying
- Get Safe Online
- Childnet parent and carer toolkit
- The UK Safer Internet Centre
- NSPCC Online Safety
- StaySafe Online
- ChildLine Online Safety
- YouTube Safety Mode
- Google Safe Search
- Google family safety Centre
- ThinkuKnow – advice and activities for children aged 4-18 and their parents