Do you ever check whether the internet site your child goes on is both appropriate and safe for them?
Do you check to see what age restrictions apply?
The following link was set up by netmums and the NSPCC as a guide to help parents ensure that there children are using safe, appropriate sites.
Top Tips for Parents/Carers
Follow the “Golden” rules:
G: Ground Rules
• Talk to your children about how they use the Internet and discuss the risks with them – establish family rules and boundaries around acceptable internet behaviour
• Discuss which websites are suitable for them and be aware that certain websites (such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) have age limits and restrictions – if your child wants to a site with an age limit then why not consider setting up a family account and use the site together?
• Make sure children do not publish any personal information without asking permission first- such as names, photos, contact details
• Make sure your children know that once a message, image or video is posted online then it stays online – material can be copied, changed and used without your consent so they should only post things online they’d be happy to share or say in real life.
• Make sure children only download files (e.g. music and videos) from a trusted source e.g. iTunes etc and not via a Peer to Peer networking/file sharing sites such as Lime wire etc. You can find out more about legal downloading here: www.pro-music.org
• Decide on rules for meeting online friends e.g. With an adult present, in a public place.
O: Online Security
• Ensure you use a filtering system to help prevent access to inappropriate material – but don’t rely on it for 100% safety.
• Use parental controls where possible, including Mobile Phones and Games Consoles as well as Laptops/desktops
• Use a Child friendly Search Engine
• Visit www.getsafeonline.org to learn about keeping safe from viruses, Identity Theft and online scams.
• Discuss using strong passwords with your child so they understand how they can protect their online accounts. It’s important they know they need to keep their passwords safe and not share them with anyone or use the same password for several accounts. If your child’s account is “hacked” or compromised then make sure they change their password and report any concerns or suspicious activity.
Check how secure your passwords are here: https://howsecureismypassword.net/
For more advice on using strong passwords visit https://www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-your-computer/passwords/
• Ideally keep your computer in a family room where possible
• Only allow younger children internet access under supervision
• Do not allow WebCams to be used without your consent/supervision
• Consider other devices which can access the internet e.g. Mobile Phone and Games Consoles
• Talk to your child – share the experience online with them and ask them to show you how they use technology
• Have a go yourself! Try using new tools and websites
• Be open and encourage them to talk to you – remember the earlier you start the easier it becomes
• Do remember to try to respect their privacy
• If they report a problem make sure you support them, report it and seek advice if necessary.
Key Advice for Parents/Carers on how to deal with Cyberbullying:
Your child is just as likely to be a bully as to be a target. Be alert to your child being upset after using the internet/phones – they may be secretive, change relationships with friends
If your child is a victim of cyberbullying, remember, it’s not their fault so removing the technology could make them less likely to speak to you in the future.
Talk to your child and understand how they are using the internet and their phone
Use safety tools and parental controls – if your not sure how contact your service provider. Please note tools are not always 100% effective
Remind your child not to retaliate
Work with the school to resolve the issue if other pupils are involved
Keep any evidence of Cyberbullying – emails, Online Conversations, texts, screen prints of sites/chat messages – try and include time/date etc
Report the Cyberbullying:
Contact the service provider to report the user and remove content
Contact the school so they could take action if it involves another pupils
If the cyberbullying is serious and a potential criminal offence has been committed then consider contacting the police.