The internet can play an important part in many aspects of school life, including teaching, learning and improving communication. However, if not used properly, it can be dangerous or harmful. This simple guide includes hints and tips for both parents and pupils.
Hints & Tips for Parents
- Technology is constantly changing and young people are continually learning – keep up to date on latest developments so you know about the risks.
- Online safety applies to all types of devices – PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-readers and online gaming
- As technology becomes more portable, set guidelines for where your child could/should use their device
- Treat online safety in the same way as you would offline safety such as stranger danger, crossing the road etc.
- Set up internet security so children can’t access websites with adult and inappropriate content
- Don’t write anything online that you wouldn’t say in person. Comments made on social media and/or public web pages/forums could reflect badly on your child
- Check out our IT policies, particularly the online safety policy, and adhere to them
- Cyber bullying should be treated in the same way as other forms of bullying; contact your child’s school to agree a plan for dealing with it
- Be aware that “sexting” increasingly involves younger children, some as young as 10
- Try to establish a system which allows your child to take to you about anything they feel uncomfortable about online.
Things to Discuss with Children
- Where it is acceptable to use your portable device? Bedroom? School?
- Who should you talk to if you feel uncomfortable about something you have seen online? e.g. parent, teacher or other responsible adult
- Don’t spend too long online; make sure you get some physical exercise every day
- Keep passwords safe – don’t write them down and change them regularly
- What personal information is it appropriate to post online?
- How do you report cyber bullying? Take a screen grab of any posts so these can be seen at a later date if needed.
- How do you know the people you are talking to online, are who you think they are?
- What is the difference between a ‘real life’ friend and an ‘online friend’.
- Is it ever sensible to meet up with an online friend?