At Home and on the Internet
Children are at risk in three key areas; inappropriate contact with strangers, friends and peers involved in online bullying and inappropriate sharing of images and personal information.
When a child enters a social networking site or chat room they are making themselves available to any adult with internet access around the world. This is a difficult concept for many children, and even some adults, to understand. This information is designed to help you be aware of the dangers your child may be exposed to, when using the internet at home.
Online chat rooms and social networking sites can be dangerous places for unsupervised children who have not received adequate guidance and training.
Grooming is when a child abuser tries to start an online relationship with a child. Blocking access to unsupervised chat rooms, blogs and forums is a good way to help stop this.
Sometimes though, groomers pretend to be children in supervised chat areas - then continue a relationship in personal conversations (known as whispering). Once trust has been established the abuser may try to organise a meeting with the child, or exploit them by sending them pornographic images (or by using a webcam). They may even use blackmail to persuade the child to do something they don't want to. It is vital that children know that not everyone on the internet is actually who they claim to be.
What parents can do:
What to do if you think there is a problem:
No matter what safeguards you put in place, any child using the internet is at risk of coming into contact with people who may try to take advantage of them. If you think this is happening, you should:
Blocking unsuitable sites:
You can buy computer security software which blocks access to pornographic sites. These can be effective, although not perfect.
You can control the settings with a password that you should keep secret from your children. Update it regularly to filter the latest sites that have appeared, but remember to adjust the settings to a level that's appropriate for your child.
Protecting your child’s email:
Remember that spam is an email sent at random - your child has done nothing wrong if they are receiving pornographic spam. You can make email safer by:
“The use of Information and Communications Technology, particularly mobile phones and the Internet, deliberately to upset someone else.”
Cyberbullying happens over the internet and mobile phones. It is harder to prevent because on the internet people can use different names in chat rooms, or send messages from temporary email addresses. The most common methods of cyberbullying include:
What you can do:
As with other types of bullying it is important for parents to listen to their child and react with sympathy – children should know that bullying is always wrong and that seeking help is the right thing to do.
Try the following tips to help keep your child safe from abuse:
Keeping Safe Online
Technology in the classroom and at home is becoming more and more popular. Tablets are used along side our textbooks and we can research just about anything that we want to on our smartphones. Social media has become commonplace, and the way we use technology has completely transformed the way we live or lives.
This is why it is vital that you take an active role in monitoring what your children do online and ensure that they are using the internet safely and responsibly.
Below you will find 4 downloadable PDF documents that outline safe use, FAQ's and assistance on making your social media page private. These documents cover the 4 key social media sites :
You will also see Parent guides for popular apps and online games such as:
Grand Theft Auto