E Safety Policy
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS:
Inappropriate Content Online Advice for Parents
Over the last 12 months, the Stay Safe Partnership have seen an increase in the number of parents reporting that students, while at home, have accessed content which is not always appropriate, some of which has been quite scary or upsetting. While there is no perfect way to eliminate this risk, we feel that there are things parents and carers can do to support their children online, reduce the risk or manage it after the fact. Here are some of the practical steps parents and carers can follow:
- Contact their Internet Service Provider (ISP): Companies that provide broadband such as BT, Sky and Virgin, offer free protection for parents and carers. They can filter your internet connection directly, without having to install anything. Guide on how to use this can be found here: https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/broadband-mobile/
- YouTube is a fantastic resource, especially when home schooling, but not all the content is appropriate for children and not all YouTube channels are made for young audiences. YouTube has an app just for children – YouTube Kids – but many people don't realise that the main YouTube app has a restricted mode. We have created a quick guide (see above)
- Games consoles have features that can limit what games they can play based on the age ratings, and can even turn off certain features to allow gaming to be a little safer. To learn more about these features visit https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/gaming-consoles/
- Games are also rated based on the content, not how difficult they are. 18 rated games can have very graphic violence, adult language and themes, sexual content and horror elements. Learn a bit more about appropriate games by visiting https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/gaming-whats-appropriate-for-your-child/ or visit this site for more about game ratings https://parentzone.org.uk/article/pegi-games-ratings-explained
It's important to remember that no filters or controls are 100% effective so make sure your child knows that they can, and should, talk to someone if they see or hear anything upsetting online so we can offer them some reassurance. This information from Thinkuknow might be useful https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/Im-worried-my-primary-aged-child-might-see-something-inappropriate-online/
Parent's guide to Online Safety Session by Dan Hawbrook:
The Stay Safe Partnership recently ran a live stream on YouTube for parents around online safety and keeping their children safe this can be viewed here at parent's leisure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrWJte5NAzw&t=127s
Dan looks at the positive sides of the internet, negative parts, popular apps what they are and how to keep your children safe on them. Techniques used in grooming, sending nudes and agencies that can offer support and help. It is worth a watch for all parents any feedback they have is gratefully received also. Please distribute to parents so they are aware of this fantastic session.
The internet opens up a world of entertainment, information, opportunity and knowledge. The internet is here to stay and we embrace it as a learning platform.
In school we have filters and control over the different devices we use; however we know that instead of restricting pupil use, it is better to educate children on how to safely use the internet and what to do if they run into problems.
The school follows the government code:
‘Zip it, Block it, Flag it’
Extracts are summarised below:
The code has three simple actions:
- Zip it - keep your personal stuff private and think about what you say and do online
- Block it - block people who send you nasty messages and don’t open unknown links and attachments
- Flag it - flag up with someone you trust if anything upsets you or if someone asks to meet you offline
Make sure your child knows to always keep private information safe and watch what they say on the internet. People may not be who they say they are online, and it’s not always possible to control who can see your child’s information.
Your child should know not to give out information like:
- Their full name
- Postal or email addresses
- School information
- Mobile or home telephone numbers
- Details of places they like to spend time
Make sure your child knows that they shouldn’t arrange to meet people that they have only met online. Even if they have been chatting with someone for a while, that person is still a stranger.
You can help keep your child’s information safe by setting privacy settings. This can restrict access to personal information and photos on things like social networking sites.
You should also encourage your child to use a nickname instead of their real name in chat rooms or on instant messaging services. To stop people accessing your child’s online accounts, encourage them to keep their passwords secret, and to change them regularly.
Get your child to block people who send offensive messages and tell them not to open unknown links and attachments. They should delete any suspicious emails or attachments as they may contain something offensive or have a virus that can cause damage to the computer.
One of the main ways children can come across inappropriate content online is through search results. Most search engines include a ‘safe search’ option that excludes results containing inappropriate images or key words.
You can also install parental control software to filter out harmful and inappropriate content for computers and some mobile phones and games consoles.
Your child should come to you or a trusted adult if they are worried or unhappy about anything they see online. They should also do this if a friend they have made online has asked to meet them in the offline world.
We tell children if they see anything they don't like they should shut down the page and tell an adult. It is important that they feel they can tell an adult without getting in trouble or 'banned' from going online!
Information for parents about Omegle.com
This website's tag line is, “Talk with strangers!” The site is a chat app, available on the web and through browsers, that requires no login or other credentials, and will match you with another random user logged into the site from anywhere in the world. It offers both text and video chat.
We are advising parents NOT to allow children on this site as it could be open to abuse by strangers.