Children at our school use the Internet on a regular basis as part of their learning. In school, we regularly remind our children the importance of keeping themselves safe online.
At home, sometimes children can be given unsupervised access to the Internet. This potentially allows them to access all kinds of society (both good and bad) and bring them virtually into their homes.
How can parents help?
Parents can provide the best protection for their children and help reinforce the principles learned in the classroom. Families should reach agreements about acceptable Internet activity and content.
- Parents should read about and know how to respond to Internet risks.
- Parents should talk to their children about safe and appropriate websites and activities.
- Children should be encouraged to report anything they feel uneasy about.
- The family should agree rules about what children can and cannot do while online. Posting the agreement near the computer will ensure children see them often.
Monitoring is crucial. Parents should know where their children go online, how long they stay there, and the warning signs that something is wrong.
- Parents should place computers in family areas as opposed to bedrooms; however, they need to realise that instant messaging devices, mobile phones, and wireless computers may allow children to get online anywhere.
- When you children first begin online, parents should work closely with them and talk about Internet safety at an early age.
- Parents should bookmark suitable sites and check back regularly to ensure the content of those sites has not changed.
- Filters are helpful but not fail proof. Parents need to know about circumventor sites, which allow users to get around filtering software controls.
- Parents should seek training to learn different methods of monitoring their children's Internet use. They continually need to employ up to date techniques and software to track where their children go online.
- Parents should be aware that some sites have age restrictions that children may ignore or not realise.
Some links to more information:
- Think U Know - containing internet safety advice for those aged 5 to 16, along with parents and teachers, this site is produced by CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre).
- Kidsmart - An award winning internet safety programme for children.
- Childnet - lots of useful advice for keeping yourselves and your children safe on the Internet.
- Bullying UK - Information and advice about bullying for children, parents and schools
- Kidscape - An organisation which helps to prevent bullying and child abuse.
- Childline - Childline is the free helpline for children and young people in the UK.