E-Safety Information for Parents/Carers – to read alongside E-Safety Parents Presentation
E-safety is an important part of our computing curriculum at Balfour and we want to share with you some of the ideas we share with the children and how you can also help them to stay safe when using technology at home.
There are a number of main areas to consider when keeping your child safe on the internet.
Conduct - Children need to be aware of the impact that their online activity can have on both themselves and other people, and the digital footprints that they create on the internet. These footprints may have a longer term impact on their online reputation, well-being and future career prospects. Encourage your children to show respect for others as they would be expected to do offline. It’s easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that they may have posted. Discuss privacy settings and ensure they are set up correctly before your child uses the site. Our main message to the children is always to tell a trusted adult if anything happens online that they didn’t expect, like or want.
Content - Some online content is not suitable for children, some is intended for adults and other content may be hurtful or harmful, such as content expressing extreme views. This sort of content can be accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, apps, blogs and videos. There are filtering options that can be activated on broadband connections and controls on devices that restrict content children can find online. There are links to how to set up parental controls in the information pack. It is also important to remind children to talk to an adult if they are worried or upset by something as parental controls and restrictions are not 100% effective.
It is also important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it may not always be true. Encourage your child to think about what they have read online and check several websites when searching for information. There can be legal consequences for using and downloading copyrighted content without permission.
Contact - Children can make friends online on a variety of platforms especially through online gaming, such as Fortnite. There have also been some news stories about wifi or Bluetooth connected toys as there has been flaws found that could allow a hacker to talk to your child through the toy. It is important for children to realise that new friends made online may not be who they say they are and that once added they may be able to access their information. We remind the children that personal information like name, age, address and school should only be shared with friends that you and your trusted adults know. We teach them that they know not to give a stranger at the park their information and that people online are strangers too. Again, remind your children to always tell you or another trusted adult if they ever receive any messages from other users that make them feel worried or uncomfortable. If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, this can also be reported online and offline. Any malicious messages should be saved as evidence, and children should be reminded to never retaliate against malicious comments made towards them online.
Commercialism – You may have heard a number of stories about children running up huge bills by clicking yes to in app purchases in games. Ensure that the device or app settings are set up to ask for a password before any money can be spent and ensure your children realise that the money spent within games is real money. Also ensure pop ups are disabled so that adverts and other pop ups do not affect a child’s enjoyment of using the internet. Also encourage children to only use internet sites that you have previously allowed and set up a child safe search engine as a favourite so that older children are able to research topics without being subject to unsuitable sites or images.
It can be hard to know where to start with e safety at home so the UK Safer Internet Centre have put together a checklist of simple steps for you to support your child online.
- Maintain an open dialogue with your child about their internet use. Make it a normal daily conversation so that children aren’t tempted to hide information from you in case they get into trouble. Encourage them to talk to you about who they might be talking to, what sites or apps they are using and any issues they may be having.
- Create a family agreement to establish boundaries and expectations when using the internet. Have a plan in place for your child to deal with anything that they are not comfortable with, such as turning off the screen and telling a trusted adult.
- Set up filtering or parental controls to block unwanted content.
- Encourage your children to ‘think before you post’. Online actions can impact yourself and the lives of others. Private content can be publicly shared by others and may remain online forever.
- If your child is being bullied online, save all evidence and report the incident to the relevant service, e.g. the school, or the police, if the law has been broken.
- Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which will indicate the suitability of the content. Online reviews from other parents may also be helpful.
- Encourage your children to protect their personal information and create strong passwords for every account.
These are also many of the things we teach the children at school while using technology.
We use SMART to remember how to keep safe.
https://www.childnet.com/blog/a-parents-guide-to-fortnite-battle-royale - Guide to safety when playing Fortnite
https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/safer-internet-day-2019/safer-internet-day-2019-top-tips-3-7s - Top E-Safety tips for Infant school age children
https://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers/hot-topics/parental-controls - How to set up parental controls
https://www.internetmatters.org/?gclid=CMqz7pGMscoCFYFZ2wodFq8Dog – Age specific information on internet safety
https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/ - How to set up parental controls
https://www.net-aware.org.uk/ - Info on social media networks that children may use.
Safe Search Engines for Children –
Kiddle - https://www.kiddle.co/
Kid’s Search - https://www.kids-search.com/
Safe Search Kids - https://www.safesearchkids.com/