Keeping Your Child Safe Online – Information for Parents
As a school, with a duty of care for young people and as parents, it is essential that we recognise the growing use of social networking sites and apps among young people. Most are used positively by students in their own time to communicate among friends, which we acknowledge.
Sadly, there is a negative aspect to social networking, in particular relating to the inappropriate use of them as well as cyber bullying and the use of forum websites.
This page is designed to make you aware of the sites/apps that are in the public domain, some of the language used and, most importantly, make sure you are aware of what we do in the event of being told about an incident that may occur through social networks.
These links will take you to pages designed for young people of your age. There are some fun activities and lots of helpful information. They all come from CEOP who work to make the internet a safer place for you.
These risks are faced by users of social network sites/apps. Please be aware of how your child can be affected.
Access to illegal, harmful or indecent images or other content.
Unauthorised access to/loss of/ sharing of personal information.
The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact through social networking.
The sharing/distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge.
Inappropriate communication/contact with others, including strangers.
Access to unsuitable video/internet games.
Losing control over pictures and videos.
Viruses hacking and security.
NetAware is an app created by the NSPCC and O2 which provides a simple guide for parents to the most popular social networks, apps and games. Learn about the privacy settings and safety guidelines for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and more. You can also read up-to-date reviews from parents and children for each app, game and social network.
Minimum age rating for each social network, app and game
Parent and child views on how easy it is to sign up, report abuse and adjust privacy settings
What people are saying about the top 50 most popular social networks, apps and games
Find out how likely your child is to come across inappropriate content
What Parents and Carers Need to Know'. This is a series of four short animated films for parents and carers offering advice on how to help keep their children safe from the risks associated with sharing nude and nearly nude images.
The films aim to help parents and carers:
Understand young people's motivations for sending nude selfies.
Plan to respond positively and constructively to an incident in which their child has shared a nude selfie.
Gain confidence and skills in initiating preventative conversations.
Identify risky behaviours or situations and know where to seek help.
Know how to get help if a child is at risk after sharing an image.
What is Cyber-bullying?
Cyber-bullying is a very specific form of inappropriate behaviour. It is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature. This is different from children falling out with their friends.
Don’t ever give out your own or your friends’ personal information.
This tip is for any kind of cyber/text/phone/gaming/online communication. Make sure your child doesn’t make yours or their own personal information public – always check privacy settings on the sites they are using.
Help your child understand that they need to be careful what they put out on/share through the internet and apps. Picture/comments and any other information you put out through the internet or an app might stay there forever. So make sure they think carefully before they upload or send.
Make sure you understand the app!
Ask your children what sites/apps they are using. All apps/ website/social networking sites/gaming sites have different settings. Make sure you know the privacy/safety settings and how the app/site works. If the app automatically posts pictures into the public eye, is it something you really want your child using?
You CAN block and report people.
If your child has a bad experience online, they are able to block that person and report them to protect themselves from any more contact with that person.
Have conversations with your child about how they are using social media.
Just like in the real world if your children went out with friends or to a youth event or club. Ask how are things going, is there anything they want to talk about? Do they know they can come and talk to you or someone at school if things go wrong?
Keep talking to your child.
If your child tells you they are being cyber-bullied or are worried, upset or scared about an issue relating to this then talk to them and record what happened and when. This helps to build up the evidence.
If you are having a problem with someone online then you might think deleting the comments/images will make you feel better. But, if you do want to report the person – the best thing you can do is SAVE the evidence – screenshot the comments and save them somewhere else.
Policing the internet.
If you find your child is in a situation where they feel frightened or upset by bullying or bad behaviour on the internet or through an app then you can go to the police. Some kinds of bad behaviour online are seen as harassment and the police can help in some cases.
Making sure it is resolved. Once interventions have been put in place it is important to keep checking to make sure that your child feels safe.
We have a growing concern over students sending indecent photos through the use of social networking, in particular through Snapchat and Instagram. More worryingly that students feel it is ok to send indecent photos as long as they know the person.
Along with your help we need to make students aware of the following:
Some people make you think they are your friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, and may ask for photos but really they are using you and will change once they have gained the photos.
Some people will try and make you feel special in order to gain photos of you. E.g. paying you compliments and sending gifts.
Some people use pressure and threats to try to gain photos of you.
Once you have sent a photo you have no way in knowing who is looking at those personal pictures.
If the images end up in the hands of someone with bad intentions, they may be used to attempt to manipulate you and blackmail you.
Once something is online it is very difficult to remove. Images become part of your ‘digital footprint’.
It is illegal to take, possess or share indecent images of anyone under 18 even if you’re the person in the picture and it could lead to police prosecution.
Students MUST be aware that none of this is tolerable and that there is support if they are subject to anything of this variety.
Moreover to avoid a situation that could occur from sending a picture that they DO NOT send it in the first place.
If you are concerned about an E-Safety issue
In the first instance, please contact the school. We will then speak to the student(s) concerned and offer advice. We may also refer your child to websites, which offer support. If a student is found to have inappropriately used a site/app or acted as a cyber-bully to another student, sanctions will apply in line with the School Behaviour Policy.
In the event of the incident being related to a safeguarding concern, we have clearly defined safeguarding procedures in place.
If concerns are raised by students in school, we will follow school procedures where appropriate and will log all E-Safety concerns.
If your child is subject to cyber bullying we would request your support in encouraging them to provide us with evidence of the incident (e.g. screenshots) as well as whether he/she has any indication of who is possibly behind it.
CEOP works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. We protect children from harm online and offline, directly through NCA led operations and in partnership with local and international agencies.
Supported by the Police, Childline, and other organisations and charities.