The internet and ever emerging technologies have changed our lives drastically. As parents and carers, there is a whole new world of possibility and also of risk to be aware of. Keeping your children safe is a huge responsibility, to help you be the very best parents you can be here are some simple things you can do to keep up with what your child is doing online and ensure that they are keeping themselves safe.
Oscar's Adventures In The Online World
"Oscar’s Adventures in the Online World" has been written by James Southworth and Sarah Graham for National Online Safety. It was created to help children understand what it takes to stay safe in the online world. It can be used as a story book at home. All you need is a hint of adventure to open up endless hours of wonder and excitement, while learning how to make safer decisions when using the internet. Discuss the story with your child and help Oscar make the right decisions so he can avoid dangers on his journey through the online world.
Talk to your child about what they’re up to online. Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems.
- Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child. The Thinkuknow site has films, games and advice for children from five all the way to 16.
- Encourage your child to go online and explore! There is a wealth of age-appropriate sites online for your children.
- Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.
- Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
- Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
- Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see.
- Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
- Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Click here to find your service provider and learn how to set your controls.
This NSPCC link provides excellent information on the age restrictions and expert guidance on the risk of apps and websites children may be using.
We are here to help at school if you need it!
In addition to our online safety newsletters, please see the 'What Parents Need To Know..." guides on the right. By clicking on these you will be able to view download a parents guide to help you better protect your child. These give information about a variety of social media platforms and are full of advice for parents about how to keep children safe online.
Caught in the web...
Caught in the Web is a Newsround special programme all about staying safe on the internet. The show, which is voiced by David Tennant, tells the story of a girl called Lost Princess, who gets into danger after meeting someone in a chatroom. It also has many tips on how to be safe, and case studies of children with real-life experiences of how things can go wrong.