Keeping Children Safe Online
At Breage School, we are commited to keeping children safe in the digital world. As a result, Online Safety is an important part of keeping children safe at Breage School.
Children at Breage School use the internet on a regular basis as part of their learning. We have extensive security measures in place in school, which are monitored both internally and externally, to help safeguard pupils from potential dangers or unsuitable material. Any Online Safety incidents are recorded and managed in accordance with our Online Safety Policy.
In school, we also have regular 'Online Safety' activities to remind children of the importance of keeping themselves safe online, both at home and at school. Online Safety is taught to all pupils explaining and demonstrating how to stay safe and behave appropriately online.Through education and proactive action, we have helped many children understand the uses and dangers of the internet.
We can only be successful in keeping children safe online if we work with parents to ensure the Online Safety message is consistent. It is important that parents speak to their children about how they can keep safe and behave appropriately online.
It’s essential to be realistic - banning the internet or technology will not work and it often makes a child less likely to report a problem. Therefore, education around safe use is essential.
At home, sometimes children can be given unsupervised access to the Internet. This, potentially, allows them to access all kinds of society (both good and bad) and bring them virtually into their homes.
Here are some tips to help you to keep your children safe online:
- Discuss as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what should be kept private online and decide rules for making and meeting online friends. Make sure you know what your child is doing online much like you would offline. 1 in 4 children arrange to meet someone face to face that they have spoken to online.
- Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use parental control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact. Remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child.
- Where possible, locate your computer in a supervised family area. Always supervise the use of webcams and applications which allow voice or video chat. Consider your child’s use of other devices that allow internet access such as mobile phones and games consoles.
- Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour with your child.
- Always ensure your child knows how to block or report people online who send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply. Screen shots should be kept as evidence, if needed by appropriate agencies to pursue and take necessary steps of action.
- Make sure your child knows to tell an adult they trust if they see something online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
- Explore Online Safety sites together. There are lots of great sites out there. They are great fun to explore, so why not browse through them with your children? Check out some of the links below.
Facebook / Myspace / Instagram - Many of these sites have a minimum age limit of 13, so our pupils should not be using them.
Useful Links for Further Information
Think U Know - containing internet safety advice for those aged from 5 to 16, along with parents and teachers, this site is produced by The CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre). By clicking on the link, young people and parents can get advice on a range of issues such as viruses, hacking and dealing with bullying online.
Vodafone Parents - Vodafone have lots of fantastic practical advice for parents. You can also read their 'Digital Parenting' magazine, which informs parents about the various technologies children are accessing today. There is information on Facebook Privacy settings, Xbox360 settings, Blackberry controls, jargon busting and much, much more. Well worth a read!
Kidsmart - An award-winning internet safety programme for children, Kidsmart gives you lots of advice on how to stay safe online.
Common Sense Media - Common Sense Media helps to provide unbiased information, trusted advice, and ratings for thousands of games, videos and apps, helping parents to make an educated descision about appropriate media.
Net Aware - A great guide for parents on all the social networks that children are using from SnapChat to Facebook and many more.
NSPCC - A guide to keeping children safe online.
Internet Matters - Internet Matters is a not-for-profit organisation working with online safety experts to bring parents all the information you need to keep your children safe online. This is an excellent site with lots of easy to understand advice and video clips. It also includes tips on ‘How to have conversations with children about difficult e-Safety issues’.
Parent Info - Parent Info is home to a huge resource of articles about social media, including SnapChat, Facebook and Instagram.