06 Mar Safer Internet
On behalf of Mr. Peter Astbury (Head of Computer Science & ICT)
On 7th February was the Safer Internet Day. We want to reach out to all parents, especially in light of recent concerns expressed some parents, regarding keeping our children safe when they are using the Internet – at school and at home.
The Internet is an incredible tool and is an essential part of modern life. In fact the UN Human Rights council recently declared it to be a basic human right. It is not without its dangers however and parents and schools need to work together to ensure that children use the Internet safely and to take some basic precautions to protect them.
What are the dangers?
The biggest dangers to a child’s safety and well-being include:
- Content not suitable for minors – including pornographic content and content related to weapons, violence, drugs, gambling and so on.
- Contact from strangers who wish to harm children.
Precautions we take at school
- Content filters on our network
- Supervision of students using internet-enabled devices during school hours
- E-safety teaching embedded in our curriculum to teach children how to recognise and respond to inappropriate content and contact online
Precautions you can take at home
- Decide when/if you are comfortable with your children using the Internet at home (there is some good advice about this on the Safe Kids website at http://www.safekids.com/internet-safety-by-age/ )
- Do not allow children to use the Internet unsupervised
- Talk to your child about how they use the Internet, get them to show you the sites they visit
- Talk to your child about what they should do if they see anything online that makes them uncomfortable
- Periodically check your child’s browsing history
- Change the password on the WiFi or disable the WiFi at times when your child should not be using the Internet (at night time for instance)
- Don’t allow children to keep Internet-enabled devices in their bedroom
- Contact your internet provider to find out what parental controls and filtering options they have available. However remember that no filtering is perfect and this is no substitute for proper supervision.
- Encourage young children to use www.primaryschoolict.com as their search engine, you could set this as their homepage
- Lock-enable Google Safe Search on all devices that your child uses to filter out web results that are not suitable for children https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/186669?hl=en
There is a ton of excellent advice and resources on esafety for parents on the childnet website here: http://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers
If you have any questions or concerns about how your child is using the Internet then please do get in touch.