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E-Safety Guide

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E-Safety Guide

E-SAFETY AT ENERGY COAST UTC UTClogo

E-safety is introduced to students through our ICT curriculum and in addition, it is addressed regularly throughout the year, including through e-safety assemblies and special events such as Safer Internet Day and Anti-Bullying Week at specific times through the year.

Our e-safety policy is an integral part of our safeguarding policy and can be found on the policies page of our website. This policy is reviewed annually. E-safety is an integral part of our behaviour policy and e-safety issues are monitored and addressed regularly to address the constant changes in the use of technology..

What can you do as a parent or carer to keep your child safe online?

The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge. You may sometimes feel that your children have better technical skills than you do, however children and young people still need advice and protection when it comes to managing their lives online and using the internet positively and safely.

It is essential to be involved in your child’s online life. The internet has become an integral part of people’s lives and it is a key element of the way in which many young people now socialise. As a parent or carer you have a challenging job, you need to know what your children are doing online and also help them to do it in a safe way. With technology changing on a day-to-day basis, the best way to stay informed is to get involved. To get tips on how to talk to children about their online activity, you can go here.

Some useful conversation starters are as follows:

  • Ask your child to tell you what they like most about the internet and why e.g. sites they visit, ways to communicate, games they play, etc.
  • Ask your children what they would like others to do to improve or change the internet and make it a better place.
  • What does a better internet mean to them? (Is it safer, kinder, more fun, fewer age restrictions, etc.?)
  • Ask them to tell you how they stay safe online. What tips do they have for you to deal with online issues and where did they learn them?
  • Ask your children if they know where to go for help, where to find advice, privacy settings and how to report or block within the services they use

 

Issues that your child may encounter on the internet will vary depending on their age and online activities. The main online risks will fall into one of the following catergories. 

 Conduct: children may be at risk because of their own behaviour, for example, by sharing too much information

Children need to be aware of the impact that their online activity can have on both themselves and other people, and the digital footprint that they create on the internet. It’s easy to feel anonymous online and it’s important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share, the information that they may have posted. When using the internet, it’s important to keep personal information safe and not share it with strangers. Discuss with your child the importance of reporting inappropriate conversations, messages, images and behaviours and how this can be done.

Content: age-inappropriate or unreliable content can be available to children

Some online content is not suitable for children and may be hurtful or harmful. This is true for content accessed and viewed via social networks, online games, blogs and websites. It’s important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true or written with a bias. Children may need your help as they begin to assess content in this way. There can be legal consequences for using or downloading copyrighted content, without seeking the author’s permission.

Contact: children can be contacted by bullies or people who groom or seek to abuse them

It is important for children to realise that new friends made online may not be who they say they are and that once a friend is added to an online account, you may be sharing your personal information with them. Regularly reviewing friends lists and removing unwanted contacts is a useful step. Privacy settings online may also allow you to customise the information that each friend is able to access. If you have concerns that your child is, or has been, the subject of inappropriate sexual contact or approach by another person, it’s vital that you report it to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (www.ceop.police.uk). If your child is the victim of cyberbullying, this can also be reported online and offline. Reinforce with your child the importance of telling a trusted adult straight away if someone is bullying them or making them feel uncomfortable, or if one of their friends is being bullied online.

Commercialism: young people can be unaware of hidden costs and advertising in apps, games and websites

Young people’s privacy and enjoyment online can sometimes be affected by advertising and marketing schemes, which can also mean inadvertently spending money online, for example within applications. Encourage your children to keep their personal information private, learn how to block both pop ups and spam emails, turn off in-app purchasing on devices where possible, and use a family email address when filling in online forms.

 

What can you do right now?

There are real advantages in maintaining an open dialogue with your child about their internet use, encourage them to talk to you about their time online; for example who they’re talking to, what services they are using, and any issues that they may be experiencing. Also, bear in mind that multiple devices now connect to the internet including gaming consoles and that internet connections could be made through free Wi-Fi or 3G/4G mobile connections.

Most devices that connect to the internet have the option of parental controls, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety and with older children should be employed with a child's awareness, but they are a good start and they are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly. Here is a guide to them main four service provider's parental controls. 

Here are some steps that can help you to protect your child and support them in protecting themselves. Not every step may be relevant or useful to your child, so please consider this when employing them in your home.

  • Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and reporting features available on popular sites and services.
  • Consider using filtering software to block unwanted content. This can include settings on a site, on a device or with your service provider.
  • Encourage your children to ‘think before you post.’ Online actions can impact not only yourself but the lives of others. Content posted privately online can be publicly shared by others, and may remain online forever.
  • Understand the law. Some online behaviour may break the law, for example when downloading or sharing content with others. Be able to recommend legal services.
  • If your child is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken.
  • Encourage your children to protect their personal information, and create strong passwords for every account.
  • For younger or more sensitive children, keep all equipment that connects to the internet in a family space. It can be very helpful to keep internet use in family areas so you can see the sites your child is using and be there for them if they stumble across something they don’t want to see. Older children may not respond well to this, however, so please consider whether this step is right for your family.
  • Know what connects to the internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the internet. Make sure you’re aware of which devices that your child uses connect to the internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet – is it your connection, or a neighbour’s wifi? This may affect whether the safety setting you set are being applied.

NetAware App

Our latest endeavour into protecting children online is through the new Net Aware App. The Energy Coast UTC is now working with the NSPCC and O2 who have put together this app to help parents and children alike to understand the dangers of sites that you or your child might use on the web.

NetAware is a simple guide for parents to the most popular social networks, apps and games. With it you can learn about the privacy settings and safety guidelines for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and more. You can also read up-to-date reviews from parents and children for each app, game and social network.

Their straightforward, no-nonsense advice helps untangle the web, and show you how you can be just as great a parent online, as you are the rest of the time.

Key features:
• Minimum age rating for each social network, app and game
• Parent and child views on how easy it is to sign up, report abuse and adjust privacy settings
• What people are saying about the top 50 most popular social networks, apps and games
• Find out how likely your child is to come across inappropriate content 

If you have any questions about this app or keeping a child safe online, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For direct information about your child's online safety contact Energy Coast UTC's safeguarding team on 01900 606 446.

We have encouraged all of our students to download this app and would recommend that parents do as well. It is available on Google Play and the App Store.

 

Helpful Links

Here are several helpful links to help you and your child navigate the internet in a safe and controlled manner.

Parents' Guides to the Internet

https://www.childnet.com/resources/know-it-all-for-parents

https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers

 

Parents’ Guides to Technology

https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers/parents-guide-technology

http://www.childnet.com/resources/know-it-all-for-parents/kiafp-cd

 

Parents' Guide to Online Gaming

https://www.childnet.com/resources/online-gaming-an-introduction-for-parents

Lots of games, from PC and Console games to mobile and web games, have a social, internet based option. Some games, such as Overwatch, Fortnite or World of Warcraft require an internet connection to be played and involve team based games with voice or typed chat. Other games may have optional online/social capabilities that can be turned off or not used, but are still available to be misused.

 

Guide to Social Network Sites

http://www.childnet.com/ufiles/Young-people-and-social-networking-A.pdf

This PDF covers the basics of using Social Networking sites safely. Social Network Sites can include obvious ones such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, but also include more specialised ones, such as DeviantArt, Quora or Ask.FM that have their own individual risks, but also their own individual perks. If your child is using a site you don't recognise, consider checking it out yourself or speaking with your child before permitting them to continue using it.

 

Support and Safety Centres

(All of the below can be viewed without an account on that site)

Facebook Family Safety Centre: http://www.facebook.com/safety

Google+ Safety Centre: http://www.google.com/+/safety

Twitter Help Centre: http://www.support.twitter.com

Youtube Support Centre: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2802272?hl=en-GB

Instagram Tips for Parents: https://help.instagram.com/154475974694511

 

The NSPCC have a guide to many other sites and games for parents to look through.

 

Further E-Safety Links

Think U Know – a great site for young people, arranged by age with a parental section too.

Cyber Bullying – How to deal with online bullying.

Bullying Information – What’s the Best Thing to Do About Bullies?

Stay Safe Online – General Internet usage tips from Childline

Sorted – Keep your information secure online.

CBBC Newsround – Video format information for children and parents.

 

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency (CEOP) - Advice for parents, you can also report any concerns directly to the police through this website.

 

The UK Safer Internet Centre is coordinated by a partnership of three leading organisations; Childnet Internationalthe South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation. It is co-funded by the European Commission and has three main functions: an Awareness Centre, a Helpline and a Hotline.

 

 

 

 

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