On 7th February 2023 we supported ‘Safer Internet Day’ with a whole school assembly. The theme of this year’s celebrations is ‘making space for conversations about children’s life online’. So please see below a few tips and resources that you may find useful for both today and every day:
1. Start early – Ideally, start talking to your child about online safety as soon as they are accessing internet enabled devices – it’s never too early! This will normalise such conversations as well as reinforce important messages.
2. Be open and interested – Ask your child to show and tell you what they do online. What apps, games and sites do they access? How do they use these e.g. do they speak/interact with others? Appreciate the opportunities and benefits, as well as help your child to understand any risks. This will create a positive and open climate so that your child is more likely to talk to you if something goes wrong. If you want to understand more about an app or game, then have a look here.
3. Make it regular– Create regular opportunities for conversation so that you keep up to date with your child’s online activity. It doesn’t matter how you do this, and it shouldn’t be formal. Perhaps during a short car journey or on a walk. Or for younger children how about using an online themed story to provoke conversation e.g. Goldilocks or The Online Zoo?
4. Be a good role model – Remember that your child will see you using devices and so it’s important that we try to practise what we preach! Consider using the Family Agreement as a great way of opening up a conversation about this.
5. Seek help – If during a conversation your child tells you something of concern, stay calm and reassure them. Speak to the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for advice or see here for other support.
Safer Internet Day parent resources – https://saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-
See more from @LGfLDigiSafe on Twitter / Facebook
As the Online Safety scenery changes so rapidly – this page serves to point you in the direction of established organisations that regularly update their advice and can best support parents in keeping their children safe online.
Common Sense Media – “Social media isn’t simply a way of life for kids — it’s life itself. To help them keep their online interactions safe, productive, and positive, we offer the most up-to-date research and guidance on social media basics.” https://www.commonsensemedia.org/social-media
A really useful part of their site helps you to keep up with the apps, games and websites that children are using. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/parents-ultimate-guides
CEOP (The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) delivers a multi-agency service dedicated to tackling the abuse and exploitation of children in the real and ‘e’ world. Often it is referred to as an online 999. By clicking on the button, young people and parents can get advice on a range of issues such as viruses, hacking and dealing with bullying online.
The Thinkuknow website is brought to you by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre.
Childnet gives you lots of advice on how to stay safe online. (We use their “Be SMART with a heart” posters in school)
Internet Matters is an online portal designed for parents to access simple, easy and practical advice about online safety for their children, right through from pre-school to teens. It provides tips on protecting children from online grooming, cyberbullying, privacy and identity theft and inappropriate content. Internet Matters is a not-for profit organisation set up by BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
Internet Matters parental control guides can be found here.
ParentINFO is a collaboration between ParentZone and CEOP. There are useful guides and articles on helping your child stay safe online.