Online Safety

Online Safety

You can use your computer, mobile phone or tablet for lots of fun things and to make lots of new friends from all over the world.

This section of our website will provide you with links to really useful advice on how to be careful when you use the internet and some great tips to keep safe. 

If you are worried about anything you see online or people are asking you questions about where you live or saying nasty things to you please speak to your parents or teacher or follow any of the links below for help and advice.

Advice for Children

  • Always ask a grown up before you use the internet. They can help you find the best thing to do.
  • Make sure you use the privacy settings.
  • Treat your password like your toothbrush - keep it to yourself and change it regularly.
  • Always respect others - be careful what you say online.
  • Only add people you know and trust to your friends/followers list online.
  • Don’t tell strangers where you live, your phone number or where you go to school. Only your friends and family need to know that.
  • Don’t send pictures to people you don’t know. You don’t want strangers looking at photos of you, your friends or your family. Once a picture is shared online it cannot be taken back.
  • Tell a grown up if you feel scared or unhappy about anything.
  • Block the bully - learn how to block or report someone who is behaving badly.
  • Do not reply or retalliate to offending emails, text messages or online conversation.
  • Save the evidence. Always keep a copy of offending emails, text messages, screen grab of conversations and pass it to an adult that you trust or call a helpline eg ChildLine on 0800 11 11
  • Most social media services and online sites have a button that you can click to report bullying. Doing this can prevent a bully from targeting you and others in the future.
  • While you are on your mobile phone make sure that you also pay attention to your surroundings - keep personal information private.

Online safety is an integral part of children’s education in today’s digital world and is embedded in their learning at school. At St. John's C of E Academy we also want to help our parents and children improve their own understanding of online safety issues so they can learn to use the internet and all digital media in a safe and secure way. 

 

At Home

As a parent you will know how important the internet is to children - they use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves.  It is a highly creative place of amazing opportunities but the technology children use every day can seem daunting and you might worry about the risks your child can face online - such as cyberbullying, contact from strangers or the possibility of them seeing illegal or inappropriate content. 

You can download a simple checklist here that may help you start to protect your children online and decrease the risks they face or you can engage with your children regarding their use of the internet whilst at home.  Here are some conversation starter ideas from www.childnet.com

  • Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
  • Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
  • Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
  • Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
  • Think about how you use the internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online

 

Cyberbullying

 

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using technology. Whether on social media sites, through a mobile phone, or gaming sites, the effects can be devastating for the young person involved. There are ways to help prevent a child from being cyberbullied and to help them cope and stop the bullying if it does happen.

Parents and carers need to be aware that most children have been involved in cyberbullying in some way, either as a victim, perpetrator, or bystander.

 

Social networking

Young people routinely access social media and much of their social lives are online. This can create a false sense of security; for example chatting online feels different from chatting face to face. It can be easier to say and reveal things that wouldn’t be said face to face; be cruel, aggressive or flirtatious. It is important for young people to remember that there are offline consequences to online behaviour.

Parents and carers have a challenging job. They need to know what their children are doing online and also help them to do it in a safe way. With technology changing on a day-to-day basis, the best way to stay informed is for parents to be involved.

Social Networks have a minimum age restriction, usually age thirteen. Parents should talk to their children about the reasons behind the age restriction as they are there for a reason. Accessing such sites too early can expose children to unnecessary bullying.

 

Set boundaries

A good way to supervise children’s internet access and set boundaries about what they can and cannot do online is to create an agreement with them. If a child breaks the rules, restrict internet access for an agreed period of time. Thinkuknow provides helpful tips on agreeing and setting boundaries. Ensure you use the privacy settings, parental controls and built in internet safety features provided by the major internet service providers. The UK Safer Internet Centre has guides for parental controls.

For parents and carers experiencing any internet safety issues with their children, The Parent Zone provides national helpline. You can contact them on info@theparentzone.co.uk or call 020 7686 7225. 

 

Download the Department for Education's advice for parents on cyberbullying here.