All our children are aware of e-Safety whether they are using the Internet, Email, IMS or mobile phones. We are aware that children use social networking sites, safe options are for example Club Penguin. In school we teach them the safest way to use these sites.
Most Social Networking sites are only for 18+. However, we are aware that some children do have their own Facebook or alternative that they have created at home. At school we have security in place that blocks access to these websites. At home it is imperative that parents police the sites that their children use.
Please support the school by reaffirming the message that the Internet is a dangerous place for a child and that they have to take care. If possible adjust the security on your computer to block sites that make your child vulnerable.
Although chatting online can be great fun, young people can sometimes find themselves in situations where they can feel out of their depth. Risks can arise when young people give out their personal details to strangers. The online world can often seem very different to the real world for young people, and they can be tempted to say and do things that they wouldn’t dream of if they met someone face to face. This can include giving out personal information such as mobile numbers and pictures of themselves.
If they are talking to another child there is a risk that they will misuse this information – for example, by texting abusive messages to the child, or by posting their image on a website; but there is obviously a greater risk if the person that they are chatting to is an adult. Unfortunately, paedophiles – adults who want to meet young people for sex – use the internet, often with the intention of talking with and meeting a child. Young people can be naive to this risk, and often feel that they are invincible, or that ‘they would know if someone was lying’.
Young people will often ‘swap friends’ through IM, and therefore can be chatting to strangers who they feel they trust because a friend of a friend knows them. IM is a very intimate form of communication – more so than a chat room with many participants, and therefore child abusers will often use this as a means to extract personal information from a young person.
Tell your children not to post their phone number or email address on their homepage.
Help your child to adjust their account settings so that only approved friends can instant message them. This won’t ruin their social life – new people can still send them friend requests and message them, they just won’t be able to pester them via Instant Messenger (IM).
Check if your child has ticked the “no picture forwarding” option on their social networking site settings page – this will stop people sending pictures from their page around the world without their consent.
Encourage them not to give too much away in a blog. Friends can call them for the address of the latest party rather than read about it on their site.
Ask them to show you how to use a social networking site – getting involved will empower them to share the experience with you.
A good site for the child to learn the skills they need to use the Internet Safety is the Think you Know site set up by Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. Please select the link below to view further useful information and links.
e-Safety Additional Guidance and Information
You can find further e-safety guidance and e-safety information on our website, including links to useful sites.
Does you child use a mobile phone or the Internet? Then the leaflet below may help you as a parent.
You may need a product like Adobe Reader (free download) to view our PDF documents on our website.