With the Half-Term holiday coming up, I thought I would write to share with you some tips and resources to help you ensure that your child uses the internet safely over the next.
Holidays often mean more opportunity for screen time and unsupervised use of the internet when children are at home, and adults are at work.
There are three things to consider – the three ‘C’s - when your child is using the internet:
This relates to what they see online or could potentially be exposed to, i.e. sexualised material or pro self-harm website etc.
This includes - accepting 'friends' they've never met which may open them to being groomed or pressured or bullied to send images of themselves. Also, disclosing personal information about themselves (passwords / addresses, school details).
This relates to a child's behaviour online - such as cyberbullying, online hate, posting inappropriate content of others or themselves.
It’s possible that children may come across things online which are inappropriate for their age and stage of development. Tools like parental controls can help to protect your children from accessing inappropriate content, but you can’t check everything they see on the internet. The first step is to have regular conversation about what they do online and encourage them to talk to you if they see anything that upsets them.
There’s a chance that your child may meet people online who aren’t who they say they are. Grooming is a word used to describe people befriending children in order to take advantage of them for sexual purposes. Many parents worry about online grooming so it’s important to talk to your children about how to stay safe.
The internet and social media has changed the way children interact and share their lives so it is really important to have regular conversations with them about what they sharing online. As a parent, It can be difficult to stay on top of all the different apps and sites that children are using but there are simple things that you can do to make sure they become 'Good digital citizen' and avoid sharing or saying something that they would later regret.
Please encourage your child to stay safe online and keep talking with them. Have a look at the tips on the Internet Matters website below regarding keeping safe and managing screen time.
If you would like any further advice, or have any concerns regarding your child and the issues outlined above then please contact us here at school. Gavin Peevers, Designated Safeguarding Lead - email@example.com
Catherine Jessey, Digital Lead - firstname.lastname@example.org