Online Safety - A Guide for Parents and Carers

 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO STAY SAFE ONLINE?

Most of us are ‘connected’ via our laptops, consoles, handheld devices, mobile phones, tablets or personal computer. The potential for the internet to be a valuable and a fun resource for entertainment, making friends, keeping in touch and learning is huge. However, if you use the internet, you could be at risk of illegal activity or abuse - be it bullying, fraud or something more serious. Unlike seeing someone face to face, on the net, people are not always what they first seem.
In the same way you learn about safety when you leave the house, it is important to learn how to stay safe online.

Kingsmead School takes internet safety extremely seriously. Students are made aware of the steps we take to ensure their safety when working on-line in school, as well as working with the police to investigate the rare instances where young people endanger the safety and wellbeing of others, through misuse of electronic communication. You can read the 'Acceptable Usage of ICT Policy' by clicking the link below or visiting the 'About Us' section of the website.

We know that internet safety is a concern of many parents and there are a lot of useful resources and information available about keeping your children safe when they use the internet, mobile phones, or other devices connected to the Internet.

Parents are reminded that whilst the internet is a useful and effective learning tool, students should not be allowed to be on the internet unsupervised. Here are some tips to help you:

Ensure you are clear about what your child will be doing on-line and ask them to show you their work before and after internet use.Limit the use of additional features such as a web cam to when you are present in the room.Keep computers and laptops in family areas so that you are aware of the sites your child is using.Report any abuse or impropriety to the appropriate site authorities.Contact the Child Exploitation On line Protection (CEOP) authorities if there is any cause for concern.

KNOWN CONCERNS

OOVOO is a social media app children are downloading. This allows an individual with the app to search for anyone else who has the app even if they do not know them. For example, a search for 'Mel' brings up the contact details of anyone called Mel who also has the app. Police are very concerned because undesirable adults are using it as a means of contacting children/young people. This has already happened to a young female student in another school.
We advise that you make your child aware of the risk associated with this app and take steps to discourage children from using it.

The Blue whale Game is a dangerous game being played on social media. The Blue Whale game originated in Russia and is now spreading across Europe. The game is played online and spreads through social media. Players are appointed a “master/teacher" and these "masters/teachers" issue progressively more dangerous challenges to players in stages. As the game goes on the players are directed to self-harm and the final challenge is to commit suicide. All these actions have to be filmed and shared via social media to the so called "master/teacher". The game is being targeted at children of all ages, some as young as primary age, but predominantly at teenagers.

Warning signs to look out for may include:

The safety of your child is imperative to us as a school, and we hope that you will find this communication helpful in raising awareness. Please talk to your children and remind them to tell you about any games or messages on social media they are concerned about. Most children are happy to talk to adults as they can become very worried for themselves and others.

If you have any concerns regarding this 'game' or with any aspect of keeping children safe then please contact your child’s Learning Director of year.

WHATSAPP

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with more than 1.5 billion people in more than 180 countries using it to send and receive text, photos, videos and documents, as well as make voice and video calls through an Internet or Wi-Fi connection. The free app offers end-to-end encryption, which means that messages can only be read by the sender and the recipient in one-to-one chats, or all members if it is a group chat. Not even WhatsApp can read them.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT THE LINKS AND DOWNLOADS BELOW

CEOP www.ceop.police.uk has some very useful resources for parents. it is quick and easy to register and you be sent regular updates on important information.

NSPCC Online Safety

National Online Safety

Safety Net Kids

Think you Know

Download pdf
Kingsmead School Policy for Computer & Internet
Download pdf
WhatsApp Parent's Guide
Download pdf
Internet Safety Booklet
Download pdf
Keeping Your Child Safe Online
Download pdf
Social Media Guide Leaflet

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