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Keeping your child safe - On-line safety

Potential risks can include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying by peers and people they consider  ‘friends’
  • Posting personal information that can identify and locate a child offline
  • Sexual grooming, luring , exploitation and abuse contact with strangers
  • Exposure to inappropriate content
  • Exposure to racist or hate material
  • Encouragement of violent behaviour, such as ‘happy slapping’
  • Glorifying activities such as drug taking or excessive drinking
  • Physical harm to young people in making video content, such as enacting and imitating stunts and risk taking activities
  • Leaving and running away from home as a result of contacts made online.

What can you do to minimise the risks?

  • Try to make sure your child’s computer screen is always visible to you when they are using it.
  • Install a parental filter that restricts their browsing to safe sites only (note these are not 100% effective as not all sites have rating tags, but parental filters included with anti-virus software can be more effective as they monitor and maintain a list of un-safe sites).
  • Restrict their Internet access times to ‘safe’ times. This can also be done in your home router automatically so they cannot access the Internet during selected times (check the router’s user guide or contact your Internet Service Provider on how to set it up).
  • Establish a close and open relationship with your child, and encourage them to discuss what they see on the Internet and who tries to contact them.
  • Teach your children the dangers that they could come into contact with on line, and that the people that contact them are not always who they say they are, and teach them NEVER to physically meet with anyone they make contact with on line unless you are with them (if you consider it safe to do so).
  • On Line does not just include visiting the Internet on a PC, most mobile devices such as phones and tablets also have Internet connections via WiFi and the service providers data services, so you will also need to agree rules with your child on how they use their mobile devices, to ensure they stay safe.  

The Internet is essential to children’s research and personal development

The Internet and online tools are essential for research, planning, communicating and campaigning effectively. Usually things go well but you should be aware of the risks and how to act safely and responsibly. All Schools should have an Acceptable Use Policy' and you should be familiar with it. At home you may be exposed to more risks. At home children may be exposed to more risks than they are in the school technology environment.

At Jesson's CE Primary we are committed to the protection of the children in our care. Threats can come from many places so here are some more ideas for protecting your child when they use the Internet.

  • Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends that they do not know offline.
  • Explain to your children what information about them is personal: i.e. email address, mobile number, school name, sports club, arrangements for meeting up with friends and any pictures or videos of themselves, family or friends. Small pieces of information can easily be pieced together by unscrupulous people to gain an insight into your child’s daily activities.
  • Make your children aware that they need to think carefully about the information and pictures they post on their profiles. Once posted these can be copied, altered and posted elsewhere on the internet.
  • It can be easy to forget that the Internet is not a private space, and as a result young people sometimes engage in risky behaviour online. Advise your children not to post any pictures, video or information on their profiles, or in chat rooms, that they would not want a parent or carer to see.
  • Warn your children about spam and junk mail, and tell them not to believe what they see in these emails and not to reply to them. Once they reply the sender knows that the email address they sent the spam to is a real and in-use email address and will open it up to even more spam and junk. Just because an email comes (supposedly) from a known email address, does NOT mean it was sent by that person or from their computer, it is easy to send an email using someone else’s email address, so explain that they should not be fooled by what appears to come from an email address that they know.
  • Explain that they should not open attachments that come with an email, as they can contain viruses and/or inappropriate images or movies.
  • Explain that some people online lie about who they are and use photos of others (possibly their friends) to try and fool them into thinking they are talking with a friend or person the same age, when they are really a much older person that is trying to get close to them. They should never meet up with anyone they meet online.
  • Also keep communication with your child open, and explain that it is never too late to discuss things that they see/find/receive online, or anything online that makes them feel uncomfortable.

More information can be found at www.wmnet.org.uk

Keep your child safe online