Keeping Children Safe in a Digital World
Many children and young people use the internet for education, social and leisure purposes. Children are naturally trusting, curious and keen to explore the web but it’s important that they know how to keep safe.
The internet is always changing and being able to keep up-to-date with technology can be challenging. However, children and young people often need support with problems they experience online.
Advice and guidance for parents
The internet is such an integral part of children’s lives these days. It opens up so many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to, quite literally, a world of information and experiences.
Whether on a computer at school, a laptop at home, a games console or mobile phone, children and young people are increasingly accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are.
As you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe whatever they are doing. Like learning to cross the road, online safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so – particularly from those people who might seek them out to harm them.
So, how can you protect your child online?
In this section we will provide information and links to websites that will provide you with all you need to know about how to ensure your child is safe when going online.
If you have any concerns about your child’s safety online, please contact the school for further support.
Parental controls offered by your home internet provider
The 4 big internet providers in the UK – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time. They have come together to produce helpful video guides to help you to download and set-up the controls offered by your provider, details can be found here.
Cyberbullying – Getting offensive content taken down
If online content is offensive or inappropriate, and the person or people responsible are known, you need to ensure they understand why the material is unacceptable or offensive and request they remove it. Most social networks have reporting mechanisms in place to report content which breaches their terms, click here to see a list of contact details for Social networking sites. If the person responsible has not been identified, or does not respond to requests to take down the material, the parent / staff member should use the tools on the social networking site directly to make a report.
Some service providers will not accept complaints lodged by a third party. In cases of mobile phone abuse, where the person being bullied is receiving malicious calls and messages, the account holder will need to contact the provider directly. Before you contact a service provider it is important to be clear about where the content is; for example by taking a screen shot of the material that includes the web address. If you are requesting they take down material that is not illegal, be clear to point out how it breaks the site’s terms and conditions. Where the material is suspected of being illegal you should contact the police directly.
See below for advice on all aspects of digital security, safety and links to sites for more guidance.
Information for parents and carers.
CEOP and The Parent Zone - https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
Games Consoles SafetyFind XBox Live safety advice and setting to be considered to stay safe.
Expert Advice on most aspects of IT and digital security click here
Fact sheet – 14+ Safety Tips
Fact Sheet – Screen Time
Fact Sheet – Social Networking Sites /Portals/0/Young-people-and-social-networking-sites.pdf
Keeping children and young people safe online
Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership - https://www.leedsscp.org.uk/Home
There are many sites which offer information useful both at home and at school. Please have a look at the links below:
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
Learn how to protect your child online…
The online world is integral to how children stay in touch with their friends, and access to the internet is now available like never before. However, there are inherent risks associated with new technologies and it is essential for young people and their parents / carers to understand how to reduce these risks.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is the UK’s national child protection agency (visit www.ceop.police.uk for more information). At CEOP, we believe the start of the new school year is the perfect time to speak to your child about how they use the internet and how they can stay safe online.
Through the ClickCEOP advice and help centre, members of the public can access guidance on a broad range of topics to help protect their children, or alternatively report a concern directly to CEOP.
CEOP’s Children and Young People’s programme; Thinkuknow, is used in schools nationwide to educate young people about how to stay safe online. As parents, you can play a fundamental role in this aspect of their education. To stay up to date with further information and advice, please visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents to find information on:
- What are the risks posed to your child online?
- What can you do to protect your child?
- Where can you go if you are concerned?
We want to help you and your family stay safe online, there are some simple steps below that you can follow to achieve this.
CEOP has been working with social networking sites and other major providers to put internet safety advice at the fingertips of your child, through the ClickCEOP application.
Facebook Users: Visit www.facebook.com/clickceop to add the ‘ClickCEOP’ app to your profile and ask your children to do the same. The app is free and easy to use, and gives you immediate access to internet safety advice as well as being able to report any suspicions to us. If you become a ‘friend’ of the page, we will invite you to our free online safety surgeries and send you updates. By clicking on ‘Add the App’ on the left hand side of our Facebook page you can add the ‘ClickCEOP’ button to your profile.
Web Browsers: If you use Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, you can customize your browser, enabling users to see the ClickCEOP button, regardless of which website you’re on.
By following the guidance above, you can help protect your child to ensure they are enjoying the internet safely.