E-Safety is an important part of keeping children safe. Children can accidentally 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. What can parents/carers do?
Follow the ‘Golden Rules’!
- Discuss as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Emphasise what should be kept private online (personal information and photos etc). Make sure you know what your child is doing online much like you would offline.
- Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use Parental Control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact
- 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.
- Locate your computer in a supervised family area. Always supervise the use of webcams and applications which allow voice or video chat. Consider your child’s use of other devices that allow internet access such as Mobile Phones and Games Consoles.
- Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which web sites 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 send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply.
- Make sure your child knows to tell an adult they trust if they see something online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
- It’s essential to be realistic – banning the internet or technology will not work and it often makes a child less likely to report a problem. Education around safe use is essential.
Useful websites for parents:
www.bbc.com/ownit – an interactive site to explore e-safety for children.
www.safetynetkids.org.uk/personal-safety/staying-safe-online/ – simple rules for staying safe online.
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 – Explore the ‘Young people’ and the ‘Parents and Carers’ sections.
www.getsafeonline.org – Free up-to-date Security advice
www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/protecting-childrens-privacy/ – Protecting Children’s Privacy Online – a Guide for Parents
Games to teach children about E-Safety: