Parent/Carer Guide to Online Risks and Dangers
You will be aware the internet hosts many exciting opportunities for education. The online world is a wonderful place for young people to explore, with unprecedented opportunities for learning and creativity, but just like the real world there are risks and dangers they should be aware of and which we should all act to protect them from. As a school we encourage the use of technology as an important part of our students’ development but always want them to spend their time online safely. As a parent/carer you can play a significant part in ensuring this. The school has created an interactive area for parents and carers where you are able to view and download materials and information which will help to reduce the online risks which your children could be exposed to at home and on their mobile devices.
‘The Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet’, has been created by CEOP to provide a light hearted and realistic look at what it takes to be a better online parent.
The show covers topics such as, talking to your child about the technologies they use and the things they might see, such as pornography. With interviews from leading experts such as, Professor Tanya Byron, Dr Linda Papadopoulos and Reg Bailey, as well as key industry players from Facebook, Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters, this online guide aims to equip you with the tools to have those tricky conversations with your children and keep your family safe online.
Just a few simple steps by you can help keep them safe and give young people the awareness to know what to do if they feel uncomfortable about anything they encounter while on the Internet.
If you do not wish for your child to be able to access any inappropriate content online, please ensure that their computers, laptops and other devices with internet access are all fitted with parental controls.
You can find free downloadable versions online or you can contact your internet service provider (such as BT, Talk Talk, Sky) for more information. As a minimum, please set parental controls on your search engines, youtube account and the mobile phone your child uses.
The best way to help your child to be a safe when using the internet and new technologies is to talk to them and make sure they understand these simple rules:
- You should never give out personal details to online ‘friends’. Use a nickname when logging on and don’t share full name, email address, mobile number, school name and any photos, including photos of family or friends – any picture or video online can be changed or shared without permission.
- Talk to your child about what they are doing online and who they are talking to. Get them to show you how to use things you are not familiar with. Keeping the computer in a family room means that you can share your child’s online experience, they are less likely to act inappropriately (i.e. via webcam) and their online ‘friends’ will see they are in a family room..
- If your child receives a message that upsets them, remind them not to reply, they should save the message and show you or another trusted adult.
- Spam and junk emails and texts are not true, don’t reply or send them to anyone else, just delete them.
- Don’t open files sent from people you don’t know. They could contain a virus, or worse – an inappropriate image or film.
- An online ‘friend’ is anyone you have not met in real life; no matter how long you have been friends with them.
- Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that it’s better to keep online ‘mates’ online. They should never meet up with any online ’friends’ without an adult they trust.
- Make sure they know how to block someone online and report them if they feel uncomfortable.
Make sure your child feels able to talk to you, let them know that it’s never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable. Don’t blame your child, let them know you trust them.
Keeping your child safe online - A Checklist for Parents and Carers