At home however, children can sometimes be given unsupervised access to the Internet. This, potentially, allows them to access all kinds of material and online content (both useful and dangerous) and bring it virtually into their homes.
Because of this, we often compile and circulate a termly eSafety newsletter which aims to provide both tips and useful links to help parents to keep their children safe online. We also update this area of the website regularly with any new ‘trends’, websites, or APPs that children are using or talking about that we feel could pose a risk. You can read our latest newsletter or tips using the links below.
This tool will help you understand how to set parental controls across the main devices and websites your children use. Simply scroll through the different categories and choose what you’d like to protect, or select one specific item. You are then given a simple guide using step-by-step instructions (with pictures) on how to set up your parental controls and block or filter content accordingly.
For more information and to visit the website – click here
At St Patrick’s we talk to the children regularly about internet safety, but it is important that this message is reinforced at home and that you frequently talk to your children about their use of the internet. The following is guidance from CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre):
Be involved in your child’s online life. For many of today’s young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the internet to socialise and grow, and just as you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too. Talk to them about what they’re doing, if they know you understand they are more likely to approach you if they need support.
Watch ‘Thinkuknow’ films to learn more. The ‘Thinkuknow’ programme has films and advice for children from five all the way to sixteen. Your child will have seen these at school, but they can also be a good tool for you to find out more about what young people do online and some of the potential risks.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. 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 continue to discuss boundaries so that they evolve as your child’s use of technology does.
Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Your child will use all sorts of devices and gadgets; make sure you are aware of which ones can 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 your safety settings are being applied.
Consider the use of parental controls on devices that link to the internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.
Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are. Make sure your child knows never to meet up with someone they only know online. People might not always be who they say they are. Make sure your child understands that they should never meet up with anyone they only know online without taking a trusted adult with them.
Know what to do if something goes wrong. Just as in the offline world, you want to help your child when they need it. Therefore, it is important to know when and how to report any problem.
We would wholly recommend that you visit the advice site www.thinkuknow.co.uk where you will find excellent information and guidance relating to the safe use of all digital methods of communication.