3 Aims of this session: Look at how children are using the Internet Raise awareness of e Safety issuesConsider ways of supporting parents/ carersOffer guidance on keeping your child safeNext steps
4 The internet has many positives that we want our children to enjoy There are however a number of dangers which we need to be aware of as parents and carers.
5 91% of homes have access to the internet 31% of young people have internet access in their bedroom75% of older children have a games console in their roomOver a third of 3-4 year olds access the internet at homeMore than half of all children (53%) are never or hardly supervised online by their parents / carers81% of parents think they know what their children are doing all or most of the time when access the internetOfcomAre you one of the 28% of parents who use the internet and describe yourself as a beginner?7% of children describe themselves as beginners!
6 How do children use the internet? Research for homeworkFinding picturesgamesInstant messagingSkyping relativesMusicSocial media
7 How do our children access the internet? computersphonelaptopipodipadGames console
8 GamingYour child may be playing on the computer on sites like Club Penguin, CBeebies, Moshi Monsters or Neopets. They may have a console, like a Wii or an Xbox – remember, most consoles connect to the internet.Be involved in your child’s gaming – talk to them about what games they play and why they like them.Even games aimed at younger children like Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters, enable players to have an online profile and communicate with other players. This is all part of the fun, but it is important to consider potential issues.Help them to understand why it’s never a good idea to share personal information such as their name, address, address, passwords, telephone numbers or the name of their school with people they don’t know and trust in the real world. Talk to your child about how people can sometimes lie online or pretend to be someone else.
9 Some games aimed at this age group require users to ‘sign up’ for an account. At this age, this should require parental permission. This usually means entering a parent’s address during the registration process, you will then receive an asking if you are happy for your child to join. If this happens, it shows that the site has thought about the safety of their users and wishes for the parents to be involved in their child’s online life.Look to see if the game has advice for parents and carers. This can help you to assess the appropriateness and learn more about the functions of the site. In general, this content tends to focus on the fun aspects of the game, but it should also highlight the safety measures the site has in place to protect your child and what you can do as a parent or carer to protect them.A lot of games sites have adverts which flash and look exciting! These adverts take children away from the original site – something to think about.
10 Internet searchingWith a world of information at their fingertips, it’s easy for children to stumble across things that might upset or disturb them. They might also come across sites which aren’t suitable for their age.Remember, this can happen by accident and, while most parents and carers trust their children online, children are naturally curious. They may search ‘rude’ words, without thinking about the results they might get!Talk to your child about how to search for things on internet. Discuss what is appropriate and what isn’t.Keep a close eye on what your children are searching for – this is easily done if the computer is kept in a busy family room rather than the child’s bedroom.Consider changing the search settings on search engines. These aim to prevent the search engine bringing up results which might not be suitable for children.Note: No filter is 100% accurate and sometimes content slips through the net.Ensure that your child knows to come and tell you if they see something that upsets them.
11 Search EnginesThere are many different search engines available – the most common ones probably being Google, Yahoo and Bing.All of these search engines have settings which you can change. These filters will block the vast majority of inappropriate results – it is important to remember though that as the internet is expanding everyday things may still get through these blocks.KidRex is a custom Google search engine for kids. The interface is just like a child’s crayon drawing (the dinosaur stands guard). It uses SafeSearch and tries to keep all the results as antiseptic as possible.Safe Search for Kids is the child friendly search engine where safe search is always ‘on’. Powered by Google.
12 Social MediaTo comply with different legislation, Facebook and many other social networking sites, require users to be 13 and over in order to set-up an account.However, we do know that increasing numbers of children are registering on sites like Facebook, by claiming to be older than they are.Sites like Facebook enable children to share an incredible amount of information about themselves, have conversations with their friends and also potentially provide contact with people they don’t know. With this in mind, you should take the age restriction as seriously as you would an age restriction for the cinema.
13 If your child is setting up a Facebook account, consider the following: Help them set up their account – make sure that they don’t put any unnecessary personal information.Don’t make them any older than they are. Facebook have separate security settings in place for younger usersBe a ‘friend’ of your child – this way you can keep an eye on what’s going on.Use your address as the main contact – this way you can see the people who are ‘friending’, messaging and commenting on your child’s profile.Talk through the privacy settings – go through the settings step-by-step.Set privacy settings to ‘friends only’ and ensure that the friends they have are ones they know and trust in the real world.Limit the amount of adult ‘friends’ they have – these could be friends of yours or family members. These users may post content which you would not want your child to see!Talk to them about some of the things that can go wrong – such as bullying, unwanted contact and inappropriate content.Ask them to talk to you about anything that makes them feel unhappy.Learn how to report any issues directly to the site.
14 ingYour child may ask to have their own account. You need to think about whether they are old enough and mature enough to have an account that will provide them with some independence online, such as giving them the ability to register with websites.If your child is setting up an account, here are some simple steps you can take to help them use it safely and securely.Set up the account with them – this will give you a good idea of what personal information has been asked for and the functionality of the account.Check moderation possibilities – popular services such as Hotmail have parental controls to assist you with the moderation of the account. Some allow you to have a family account or moderation rights. This way you can see the s received and the sites your child is registering on too. If this is not possible, you can share the password to the account, especially for younger age groups; this way you can moderate if you feel necessary.Ask your child to only people they know and trust in the real world.Ask them to never click on s from people they don’t know or links they don’t recognise, as they could contain a virus which will harm the computer, or take them to a site which is inappropriate.Encourage them to tell you if they see anything that upsets them online, because you can help them.
15 Talk to your child about what they do on the internet. Keep a close eye on what websites they visit.Keep the computer in a busy family room – this makes it easier to see what your child is doing and keep an eye on how much time they spend on the computer.Make an agreement with your child regarding use of the computer – what they are allowed to do and how long for.Remind them about not giving out any personal information without your knowledgeRemind them to tell you if they see something that upsets themRemind your children not to share any pictures they wouldn’t be happy to share with you.
16 Further Information: http://www.parentscentre.gov.uk/
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