Online Safety - A Parents' Guide

As a parent you will know how important the internet is to children and young people. You might worry about the risks they can face online, such as bullying or contact from strangers, as well as the possibility of accessing inappropriate or illegal content. To help them to stay safe, it is important that you understand how your children might use the internet.

By following this simple checklist, you can help to protect your child and decrease any risks:

I have asked my child to set profile settings to private - social networking sites, such as Instagram or Tic Tok are increasingly used by young people to share information, photos and just about everything they do! Insist that your child sets his or her privacy settings to private. Children need to think about the information they post online as it could be copied and sent anywhere, without their permission.

I have asked my child about online friends - we know that some people lie online about who they are and may create fake identities. It is very important that children understand this.

I have set appropriate parental controls on my child’s computer, mobile and games console - filters on computers and mobiles can prevent your child from viewing inappropriate and possibly illegal content. You can activate and change levels depending on your child’s age and abilities. You can also set time restrictions for using the internet or games. Explain to your child why you are setting parental controls when you talk about internet use.

My child has agreed to tell me if he or she is worried about something online - sometimes children get into situations online where they don’t feel comfortable or see something they don’t want to see. By opening up the communication channels and talking to children about the internet, their favourite sites and the risks they may encounter, they are more likely to turn to you if they are concerned about something.

I know where to get help if I’m concerned about my child - the CEOP Safety Centre provides access to a range of services. If you are concerned that an adult has made inappropriate contact with your child you can report this directly to CEOP. You can also find help if you think your child is being bullied, or if you’ve come across something on the internet which you think may be illegal.

St Christopher’s staff are happy to discuss these issues further. Please contact Mrs Collier or Mrs Parkinson.

We also highly recommend referral to CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection) which provides clear, easy to follow guidance from the Police. Please visit the Safety Centre at www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre or www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents

You can also follow the National Online Safety Twitter or Facebook feeds which have plenty of useful guides and top-tips to online activity and social media channels.

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