How to be safe on the internet
The internet can seem like a dangerous place for young people, but as long as you’re teaching your child how to use it safely then it can be a positive influence for them. Here are some tips to keep your child safe online.
Use child-friendly search settings
If you are worried about the type of sites your child can access, changing your search settings can avoid this. YouTube have a child-friendly app and you can change your search settings on Google. If you want to take extra precautions, consider changing to a search engine like Swiggle, Kiddle or Kids-search. Parental control settings are also available on your broadband so make sure to utilise those. Common Sense Media can also help you get an idea of what is suitable for your children if you aren’t sure.
Limit internet in the bedrooms
Keeping an eye on what your children are doing on the internet is hard if they are out of sight. Make it a rule that laptops and tablets should be used in the living room or the kitchen. This not only ensures the safety of your child, but stops mistakes from happening – like spending money on the app store! Likewise, make a habit of using the internet in common areas yourself – try not to make it one rule for yourself and another for your child.
Explore the internet together
Ask them what sites and apps they like to use, and look at them together. Encourage them to use the sites that are age appropriate, but let them know when you don’t want them to use one. This doesn’t have to be a negative experience – just let your child know why the site isn’t suitable, and be positive about the ones that are. It’s worth bookmarking any websites they enjoy, so that they don’t have to search the web to find them.
Open a conversation
It’s not always easy to keep your child from seeing something negative online, so talk to them about how to deal with it. Make sure they know not to share anything personal online, agree to meet anyone or share passwords (other than with you). Let them know that it’s okay to talk to you if they feel like they’ve had a bad experience online. If your child has older siblings, have a conversation with them about what they show to your youngest. Sometimes they will share things without realising its inappropriate, so help them learn what is.
What we’re doing
We’re currently on the way to our Online Safety Mark Accreditation – a prestigious, nationally recognised award that the iTeam, our Pupil Voice Group, are working hard to achieve. This award is for schools that display good practice in their online safety and involves pupils, teachers, parents and governors. We also have a number of useful resources on our website that will help you and your children have a safer online experience.
We want to invite all parents to our Online Safety Workshop led by the telecommunications company ‘Three’ and our iTeam. It takes place on Monday 20th May from 3pm, so don’t miss out.