It’s important to remember that the legal age to have an account on most social media – Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat – is 13 years old.
As a parent, you’ll know how important the internet is to children – they use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves. It’s a highly creative place of amazing opportunities. But the technology children use every day can seem a bit daunting and you might worry about the risks your child can face online – such as bullying, contact from strangers or the possibility of them seeing illegal or inappropriate content.
It is important to engage with your children regarding their use of the internet while at home. Here are some conversation starter ideas from www.childnet.com
- Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
- Ask them about how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
- Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the services they use.
- Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
- Think about how you use the internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online.
We have all heard of the term “digital footprints” but do we really understand what they mean?
Essentially a digital footprint is data that is left behind when users have been online.
Whatever we are doing on the internet we can leave a trail of information behind us which people can use to determine what we might be interested in buying, or for other less savoury purposes such as trying to hack into our online accounts and trying to access passwords etc.
A lot of employers will also use social media to vet prospective employees so it is important that you are mindful as to what you post on any such sites.
As the internet becomes bigger and bigger it is becoming increasingly important to think about what might happen to the ownership of the photos that you own and content that you write. Remember that what goes on the internet normally stays there, even if you do delete posts there will be a trail of data that you have left behind.
To try and help parents with the fast moving and changing world of internet and social media we’ve suggested a few internet sites on the right of this page which are fantastic resources, They contain information on different types of social media and how to help keep children safe.
Internet Safety Talk
We gave an internet safety talk recently where Mr Watkins (Deputy Head Teacher) outlined some of the dangers of the internet and what school does to help keep to children safe through the lessons they receive at school and what you could do at home. Please find below a recording of the event and the downloadable PowerPoint that accompanies it.
Childnet also produce a leaflet for parents which you can download here.
And at Malmesbury Primary we’ve also produced an E-safety booklet with handy tips for parents which you will soon be able to download below.
As part of your child’s curriculum and the development of computer skills, we provide access to the internet only in teacher supervised lessons. We strongly believe that the use of the web and email is hugely worthwhile and an essential tool for children as they grow up in the modern world. But because there are always concerns about children having access to undesirable materials, we have taken positive steps to deal with this risk in school. Our school internet access provider operates a filtering system that restricts access to inappropriate materials.
At the start of the school year, each class discusses how we can all stay safe online and the dangers we may face on the internet. We then ask every child to sign an acceptable use agreement so that we know they have read and understood our school’s rules on staying safe.