E safety Workshop for parents
23rd February 2015
Thank you to the parents that came to our e-safety information evening on Monday. For those of you that were unable to attend, here are the key points from the session, along with links for you to explore at home.
E-safety is not about restricting children, but educating them about the risks as well as the benefits, so that they can feel confident and happy online. The workshop was run by CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) who provide information about how to keep your child safe online. This information goes hand in hand with the e-safety teaching that the children receive at school and the safeguarding in place whilst accessing the internet at school.
The session covered the different types of risks that children are exposed to whilst online:
1. Cyberbullying - Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place via technology. Whether on gaming sites i.e Xbox Live, Club Penguin etc, through a mobile device or via a social networking site, the effects can be devastating for the young people involved. With online technologies available 24 hours a day, cyberbullying can be relentless, it can feel that there is no escape from it. 21% of 8-11 years olds have been deliberately targeted, threatened or humiliated by an individual or group through the use of a mobile phone or the internet.
2. Online Grooming/Radicalisation - Grooming can take many different forms, but children are often identified by adults scanning websites, pretending to have common hobbies or interests or using flattery to trick a child into trusting them.
Parents and carers need to be mindful that part of the fun of being online is communicating and often sites are designed for you to do so with people you don't know. It is important to talk to your child about who they are friends with and how to manage these online relationships. Be vigilant for any changes in behaviour i.e. laptop screens being closed when an adult enters the room.
3. Accessing inappropriate websites - The internet is open to anyone to post and create content so sometime your children may see things they wish they hadn't, or access sites inappropriate for their age. The internet is not centrally moderated, but you as a parent can set controls on your child's internet access in the home. Parental controls packages and settings can enable you to block access to adult websites and gambling sites.
The school have in place safeguarding systems which block access to inappropriate websites, the children are taught that if they see any content they don't want to, they can use Hector to immediately blacken the screen and then to tell the teacher. To find out more about Hector, or to download Hector for use at home, visit the Thinkuknow website http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/5_7/hectorsworld/
Many websites also carry the CEOP report logo, by pressing this logo you can report any type of inappropriate behaviour online. For more information please visit CEOP http://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
Thinkuknow's top tips:
* Talk to your child about what they’re up to online. Be a part of their online life; involve the whole family and show an interest. Find out what sites they visit and what they love about them, if they know you understand they are more likely to come to you if they have any problems.
* Watch Thinkuknow films and cartoons with your child. The Thinkuknow site has films, games and advice for children from five all the way to 16.
* Encourage your child to go online and explore! There is a wealth of age-appropriate sites online for your children. Encourage them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will help them to develop online skills.
* Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Children grow up fast and they will be growing in confidence and learning new skills daily. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
* Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to discuss boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills children need to enjoy their time online.
* Keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. For children of this age, it is important to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see.
* Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This will affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.
* Use parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones.
More information on keeping your child safe whilst online is available on the Thinkuknowwebsite https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/