Online Safety for our Children
How could we live without our smartphones, laptops, and other devices that allow us to go online? That's how most of us keep in touch with friends and family, take pictures, do our homework, do research, find out the latest news, and even shop.
Safer Internet Day 2017 was celebrated globally on Tuesday 7th February. At St Giles School, as part of each half term’s ICT lessons, at least one ICT Lesson is dedicated to online safety. Children play Xbox, have tablets, ipads, laptops, Smart Phones and download apps.
We have very open discussions about what we all do online in school during these lessons. Here we have put information to start the discussion about online safety.
Xbox and Consoles
Some of our children play Xbox online and so parents and carers you need to know who is connecting with your children. An Xbox session, playing online games can be great fun playing with real life friends but the language of a group of 20 year olds playing FIFA isn’t an appropriate online environment for a child.
Do you really know who is joining your children while they are playing on their Xbox?
Social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat require account holders to be at least 13 years-old. In the real world we know our children have these accounts but we also know the privacy settings on their accounts aren’t always secure and private. After talking about this in the Upper Juniors one child asked if we could show them how to make their Facebook account private. That particular account was open for the whole world to see.
It's easy enough for a child to lie when signing up for Facebook etc, and proof of ID is rarely sought. One child had set up an online profile and said they had said they were 32. They hadn’t realised that if they had lied about their age other people connecting with them may be lying too and perhaps for more sinister reasons.
We discuss with the children about privacy and tell them to remain as anonymous as possible. That means keeping all private information private. Here are some examples of private information that you should never allow the public to see:
your full name
any type of photograph (even of your pet!)
your current location (some phones have automatic GPS apps built in that may need to be turned off)
home or school address or the address of any of your family or friends
names of family members
credit card numbers
Here is a great video that explains to the Infants and younger Juniors the importance of learning how to use their computers safely.
Here is a very powerful video, for the older Junior aged children about from CEOPs Thinkuknow education programme that helps children to understand what constitutes personal information.
Are you aware of all these Common Forms of Cyberbullying?
Flaming and Trolling – sending or posting hostile messages intended to “inflame” the emotions of others
Happy-Slapping – recording someone being harassed or bullied in a way that usually involves physical abuse, then posting the video online for public viewing
Identity Theft/Impersonation – stealing someone’s password and/or hijacking their online accounts to send or post incriminating or humiliating pictures, videos, or information
Photoshopping – doctoring digital images so that the main subject is placed in a compromising or embarrassing situation
Physical Threats – sending messages that involve threats to a person’s physical safety
Rumor Spreading – spreading gossip through e-mail, text messaging, or social networking sites
Learn the basics of Internet safety
Children use a variety of online services, and each of these services can have different safety concerns. However, there are some basic tips which you can use no matter how your children use the Internet.
Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.
Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops.
Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.
Continually dialogue with your children about online safety.
Set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.
Be SMART is a fantastic website. SMART rules stands for Safe, Meeting, Accepting, Reliable, Tell.
How SMART are you? Check out the site and then download the quiz and see how well you and your child does. A quick tip though the juniors have already taken the quiz, have a go and test yourself and them and let us know how well you all do.
As we all know the world of the internet, technology and Apps moves very quickly. If you need any more information or help with online safety pop into school and our ICT co-ordinator, Mrs Rogers will be more than willing to help and advise you.