Online Safety for Parents
Online Safety for Parents
The Internet has become an important part of children's lives, enabling them to research school projects, talk to their friends and access information from around the world. Increasing provision of the Internet in and out of schools brings with it the need to ensure that learners remain safe. Internet development is constantly evolving into ever more innovative areas with many websites enabling amazing creativity and interaction between peers.
Unfortunately though, there are times when Internet use can have a negative effect on children.
Parents, carers and adults in schools should be aware of the potential dangers and be taking measures to ensure safe usage by all.
Children at West Wycombe use the Internet on a regular basis as part of their learning. In school, we have regular 'online safety' lessons to remind children of the importance of keeping themselves safe online. These messages are also embedded in to every computing lesson.
At home, many children are often given unsupervised access to the Internet. This potentially, allows them to access all kinds of content (both good and bad) and bring it into their homes.
Here are a few tips:
- Keep your computer in a shared area - Talk to your child about what they are doing online and, if possible, set up your computer in a shared area at home so that you can always see what sites are being visited.
- Facebook and all other Social Media Sites - Are you aware that many of these sites have a minimum age limit of 13, so our pupils should NOT be using them? See below for age restrictions of individual sites.
- Google Safe Search - This is designed to screen sites that contain sexually explicit content and remove them from your search results. While no filter is 100% accurate, SafeSearch helps you avoid content you may prefer not to see or would rather your children did not stumble across.
- By default, Moderate SafeSearch is turned on, which helps keep explicit images out of your search results. If you prefer you can change your setting to Strict filtering to help filter out explicit text as well as images. You can modify your computer's SafeSearch settings by clicking on Search settings at the top right of the Google homepage.
- Explore online safety sites - There are lots of useful e-safety sites. They are great fun to explore, so why not browse through them with your children?
Know the Limits!
- From 13 years old: Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, Snap Chat, Musical.ly and Twitter
- From 16 years old: Whatsapp
- From 17 years old: Vine
- From 18 years old: YouTube (13-17 requires parental guidance)
O2 and NSPCC Work Together
To children, online life is real life. There's no difference between the people they speak to on social media and their friends at school and the experiences they have over the internet are as real to them as anything else.
Families often think they know exactly what their children get up to online, and that they understand all the apps and sites their kids use. But with technology changing every day, that's not always the case.
O2 have partnered with the NSPCC to help you keep your kids safe.
On the hub, you'll find articles on everything from online bullying, to the apps your kids are using. Each article follows the same structure. They explore and explain the topic then give you tips on how to talk about it with your kids. They give you some ideas on ground rules you might want to agree. Then help you with how to manage technology to keep your kids safe.
If you need more help on anything, from setting up parental controls to reporting online bullying, you can call their free helpline on 0808 800 5002, or visit an O2 Guru in one of their stores.
Keeping children safe online
Keeping your child safe online can be very challenging, especially as the landscape is changing all around us; new apps are released all the time and it be difficult to stay aware of all of the online risks to you and your children.
With this in mind, each week we will update parents with advice on a specific area/ app, thanks to the National Online Safety Team.
It may feel awkward, but it's important to explain to children the risks of sexting, how to stay safe and remind them that they can talk to you if something ever makes them feel scared or uncomfortable.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has information about sexting on its website:
Page last updated: 20/11/23