Just like the offline world, the online world has its hazards which can seem daunting if you are not as used to computers as your children. While we do not want to deter them from using it, after recent events highlighted by the media of the dangers of the Internet here are some guidelines for both parents and students to observe when surfing at home.
Digital Parenting - A Guide
Staying Safe Online - Parents Guide
How to help your child use social websites more safely
How to protect your computer from viruses/malware
Protect yourself from online and email scams
Creating strong passwords for online accounts
Take the time to find the best and most useful sites for you and your family. Add them to your favourites. Give each family member their own folder for their favourite sites.
Get involved and learn as much as you can about the Internet yourself. Surfing should be a family activity, so use the Internet together as often as you can and discuss any problems that you encounter.
Keep the computer in a room where the whole family can use it.
Get to know who your children are meeting online and make sure that they are wary of strangers and never give out any information that would allow someone to contact them offline.
Keep an eye on the kind of material your children are looking at and make sure that they go to sites that you want them to. (You can easily check the sites that they have visited).
Consider installing some of the filtering tools that are available (the Academy uses one) to prevent your children visiting unsuitable sites.
Teach your children not to open emails and attachments or download files from people they do not know.
Keep the computer where you can check how long your children have been on the Internet. Take an active interest in what your children are up to on the net.
Children can talk to a ChildLine counsellor 24 hours a day about anything that is worrying them by ringing 0800 11 11 or in an online chat at Childline website
If parents or carers are concerned that their child is being contacted by adults as a result of having shared sexual imagery they should report to NCA-CEOP at CEOP website
ChildLine and the Internet Watch Foundation have partnered to help children get sexual or naked images removed from the internet. More information is available at Childline website
If parents and carers are concerned about their child, they can contact the NSPCC Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5000, by emailing email@example.com, or by texting 88858. They can also ring the Online Safety Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5002.
Further advice in relation to a sexting matter can be sought from the Marie Collins Foundation (MCF) by ringing 01765 688827 or by emailing Marie Collins website
The NSPCC has information and advice about sexting available on its website: NSPCC website
NCA-CEOP has produced a film resource for parents and carers to help them prevent their children coming to harm through sharing sexual imagery: Think-U-Know website
Childnet have information and advice about sexting available on its website: Childnet website
Parent info provides information and advice to parents from expert organisations on topics ranging from sex and relationships, mental health and online safety. This includes content on sexting.
The UK Safer Internet Centre have produced checklists for parents on using social networks safely Safer Internet website.
ChildLine have created Zip-It, an app that provides witty comebacks in order to help young person say no to requests for naked images: Childline website.
There is information on the ChildLine website for young people about sexting: Childline website.
The Safer Internet Centre has produced resources called ‘So You Got Naked Online’ which help young people to handle incidents of sexting: Child Net Booklet
Remember people on the Internet may not be who they say they are. Someone who says they're Duncan from ‘Blue' could well be a middle-aged man.