Online Safety at Home
How you can help your children to use the Internet safely at home.
Whilst many Internet Service Providers offer filtering systems and tools to help you safeguard your child at home, it remains surprisingly easy for children to access inappropriate material including unsuitable text, pictures and videos.
Parents are advised to set the security levels within browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple’s Safari) with this in mind. Locating the computer in a family area where possible, rather than a bedroom, will enable you to supervise your child as they use the Internet. Also consider mobile phones, games consoles and other devices that can access the Internet; however, don’t deny children the opportunity to learn from and enjoy the wide variety of material and games available. Instead, discuss with them the importance of keeping safe online and some simple rules to do so.
To keep your child safe they should:
- Ask permission before using the Internet and discuss what websites they are using.
- Only use websites you have chosen together or a child friendly search engine.
- Only email people they know - why not consider setting up an address book?
- Ask permission before opening an email sent by someone they don’t know.
- Not use their real name when using games or websites on the Internet - create a nick name instead.
- Never give out any personal information about themselves, friends or family online including home address, phone or mobile number.
- Never arrange to meet someone they have ‘met’ on the Internet without talking to an adult first; always take an adult and meet in a public place.
- Never tell someone they don’t know where they go to school or post any pictures of themselves in school uniform.
- Only use a webcam with people they know with your permission.
- Tell you immediately if they see anything they are unhappy with.
There are three main levels for applying parental controls.
- Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). These are the organisations that pipe the internet to your home (like Virgin Media, Talk Talk, Sky and BT). All of the major ISP’s provide parental control packages. These can allow you to apply controls across all of the devices that access the internet through your home connection – such as laptops or games consoles.
- Devices that connect to the Internet. Most computers, mobiles and games consoles now come with parental controls that can be applied. For example, within Windows and the Mac operating systems, there are parental controls that can be set for individual devices.
- Software. There are a wide range of packages available to buy or sometimes download for free – always look for reputable companies and check out reviews online. Examples include K9 Browser, CyberSentinel and OpenDNS - for more information, please download the leaflet below. (Please note: Although our school has heard good reports of these products, we have not tested them all and we do not provide technical support or manage protection for parents. The software should give you all the tools you need and the web sites provide helpful advice and support.)
If you would like any further advice on how to help your child to keep safe online, please don't hesitate to contact Mr Johnson (our e-safety coordinator).