This information is provided by the Police Neighbourhood Schools Officers
Contact online or call 101 if not urgent or 999 if it is urgent.
The Internet is filled with incredible information and useful resources that most of us make use of on a regular basis yet for many parents and carers it can be a place of concern. We worry about what or whom our children may encounter online and how we can protect them. We can now access the Internet on most mobile phones and whilst this access brings a world of incredible opportunities in terms of communication, interaction and entertainment, there are certain risks to children posed via the Internet.
E-Safety is an important part of keeping children safe at Durrington High School. We have extensive security measures in place in school which are monitored internally to help safeguard pupils from potential dangers or unsuitable material whilst using the computers and other electronic equipment whilst on the school premises. Any e-Safety incidents are recorded and managed in accordance with our e-Safety Policy. E-Safety is taught to all pupils in SME and computing lessons explaining and demonstrating how to stay safe and behave appropriately online. We also do several assemblies on E-Safety throughout the year to all students.
We can only be successful in keeping children safe online if we work to ensure the E-Safety message is consistent. Your help is needed to talk to your children about how they can keep safe and behave appropriately online. Recently we have had a number of incidents that have occurred outside of school but have raised our concerns about students’ behaviour and safety online. Students can either accidently or deliberately be exposed to unwanted or unpleasant content or comments online and there are steps you can take at home to minimise this risk.
- Discuss as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what should be kept private online (personal information, photos etc) and decide rules for making and meeting online friends. Make sure you know what your child is doing online much like you would offline.
- Install Parental Control software that can limit the websites and content your children can access. These are readily available and can be password protected so you as a parent/carer can limit what you want your child to access and monitor exactly what they are browsing for. It is important to remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child. It is important to regularly monitor and check what your child is doing on the internet.
- Install antivirus and monitoring software on all devices that access the internet – This includes computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact.
- Locate your computer in a supervised family area. Always supervise the use of webcams and applications which allow voice or video chat. You should also monitor your child’s use of other devices that allow internet access such as Mobile Phones and Games Consoles.
Safety when using mobile devices (phones and tablets)
- All the UK Mobile Operators have to provide an Internet filter on their phones to help block accessing material that is potentially harmful to children, such as pornography. However, with most operators you will need to ask your operator to activate the filter.
- Please bear in mind though that when linked to a wifi connection, these filters will not be in place as the device is using an external connection and not one from the mobile operator.
- Being registered as a child user will also mean that your child cannot access material provided by your mobile operator or its partners that is rated as 18+, i.e. unsuitable for children.
- You must be aware of what applications or “apps” your child has installed on their phone. We would recommend that you regularly check the apps on the phone such as Snapchat, Whatsapp, Viber, Facebook, Twitter (as well as other apps where chatting and sharing material is possible) as these are commonly used when sending inappropriate material.
- We would also recommend that you have knowledge of your child’s passwords so you can systematically check what they are doing when online.
- Inappropriate pictures are often saved on the tablet or phone even if they have been deleted from the application so it is always worth checking the content of the pictures your child has on their phone too.
- Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour with your child.
- Always ensure your child knows how to block or report people online who they may have suspicions about. Should your child receive any nasty or inappropriate messages or content, encourage them to report it and not to retaliate or reply as this opens up a dialogue with the suspicious person.
- Make sure your child knows to tell an adult they trust if they see something online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
Websites for more information:
www.thinkuknow.co.uk – Visit the “Parent/Carer” Section and use the “Click CEOP” button to seek advice and report online abuse.
www.childnet.com – Visit the “Parent/Carer section and the link for ‘Know It All’ for an interactive guide about online safety.
www.bbc.co.uk/onlinesafety – general information and tips
http://ceop.police.uk/ – Child Exploitation and Online Protection page. Visit the section on information for parents, carers and guardians. You can also report suspicious behaviour here too.
Should you encounter any e-safety issues with your child it is important to remember that it is essential to be realistic – banning the internet or technology does not always work and it often makes a child less likely to report a problem should they encounter one in the future. Children will (sometimes in these circumstances) feel that they cannot report a problem if they lose access to the Internet or their device. Education around safe use is essential.