Online Safety - Staying Safe
The Internet and online technologies are an important part of children's lives at home and school, providing great opportunities for learning, communicating, playing and creating. These technologies create huge opportunities for us all; however, they can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, and present challenges to keeping your family safe online.
Did you know: (Ofcom, 2011)
- Half of parents (48%) with children aged 5-15 who use the internet at home think they know less about the internet than their children do - this rises to 70% of parents of 12-15 year olds
- Three in ten parents of 5-15s (30%) who use the internet at home are very or fairly concerned that their child may be giving out personal details to inappropriate people, with concern increasing with the age of the child
- 81% of parents of children aged 12-17 think that they know what their child does online; however, 33% of children aged 12-17 claim that their parents do not know what they do online
It is just as important for parents to be involved in their children's lives online, as it is offline. Just as parents would ask about their children's friends at school or the clubs they go to, they should use this approach with the people their children meet online – asking the same questions and showing the same interest.
Resources and information
The resources attached will help parents:
- stay up–to–date with the technology their children are using
- understand steps they can take to keep their children safe online
- know what action to take and where to seek further support if things go wrong
Providing protection at home
At school, we filter all internet content so that students are safe at school. Parents can do the same at home by ensuring that their computers, laptops and other devices with internet access (like mobile phones and tablets) are all fitted with parental controls.
Free downloadable versions can be found online, or by contacting your internet service provider (such as BT, Talk Talk, Sky etc) for more information. As a minimum, set parental controls on search engines, YouTube accounts and your child's mobile phone.
Organisations which can help
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is the UK's national centre dedicated to protecting children from harm both online and offline. CEOP is part of the UK police force and they work with organisations like the NSPCC, teams sponsored by the likes of VISA and SERCO and experts from government and corporations such as Microsoft in order to safeguard children. CEOP's Thinkuknow education initiative aims to empower children and young people to enjoy online technologies safely, whilst educating parents and teachers about emerging uses of technology and the inherent dangers.