Here are some handy tips for helping you to keep your children safe whilst they are using the internet. We hope that you find it useful.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding how to keep your children safe on the internet, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
The constantly evolving digital world means a steady influx of new apps and games and can be hard for parents to keep track of. Each year we become aware of new concerns like Momo Challenge or Blue Whale.
Burghfield St Mary’s Primary School takes online safety very seriously and we have restrictions and firewalls in place to protect our pupils as best we can in school. However, most children’s time online is spent at home and so we have compiled some advice on how to keep your children safe online.
It’s important for parents to talk regularly with children about apps and games and the potential risks they can be exposed to.
Explore sites and apps together
- Talk about what might be OK for children of different ages. Ask your child what sites or apps they like. Write a list, and look at them together.
- Be positive about what you see, but also be open about concerns you have: “I think this site’s really good” or “I’m a little worried about things I’ve seen here”.
- Talk to your child about what you think is appropriate – but also involve them in the conversation. Ask what they think is OK for children of different ages – they’ll feel involved in the decision-making.
- Be aware that your child might talk about friends who use apps or visit sites that you’ve decided aren’t suitable. Be ready to discuss your reasons, but recognise that they may not agree with you. Listen carefully for the reasons why.
- Go through a final list of sites you both agree are OK, and work out when you’ll next discuss it.
Talk about things they, or their friends, have seen that made them feel uncomfortable:
- Be specific. What exactly made them feel uncomfortable and why? Is it people or animals being hurt? Nasty comments about others?
- Link these to things in the real world, and explain that you’re always here to protect and help them online and off.
- Reassure your child that they can always talk to you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Show them how to report or block on the sites and apps they use. Use Net Aware to find out how.
- Tell them you’ll help them to report anything upsetting they’ve seen, or to deal with online bullying.
- Talk to your child about what ‘personal information’ is – such as email address, full name, phone number, address and school name – and why it’s important.
- Explain simple ways to protect privacy. For example, avoiding usernames like birthdates or locations that give away too much information.
- Explain that it isn’t easy to identify someone online. People aren’t always who they say they are, so don’t share personal information. If it’s someone who genuinely knows your child, they shouldn’t need to ask for personal information online.
- Tell your child that if they’re in any doubt they should talk to you first.