What is Online Safety?
Online-safety is the safe use of information systems and electronic communications, including the internet, mobile phones and games consoles. It is important that children and young people understand the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
- On-line safety concerns safeguarding children and young people in the digital world.
- On-line safety emphasises learning to understand and use new technologies in a positive way.
- On-line safety is less about restriction and more about education about the risks as well as the benefits so we can feel confident online.
- On-line safety is concerned with supporting children and young people to develop safer online behaviours both in and out of school.
Using the Internet safely at home
Whilst many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer filtering systems to help you safeguard your child at home, it remains surprisingly easy for children to access inappropriate material including unsuitable texts, pictures and movies. Parents are advised to set the security levels within Internet browsers with this in mind. Locating the computer or tablet in a family area, not a bedroom, will enable you to supervise children as they use the Internet. However, don’t deny your child the opportunity to learn from the wide variety of material and games available on the Internet. Instead, set some simple rules for keeping them safe and make sure they understand the importance of these rules.
Simple rules for keeping your child safe
- To keep your child safe they should:
- Ask permission before using the Internet
- 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
- Do not use Internet chat rooms
- Do not use their real name when using games on the Internet (create a nick name)
- Never give out a home address, phone or mobile number
- Never tell someone where they go to school
- Never arrange to meet someone they have ‘met’ on the Internet
- Only use a webcam with people they know
- Ask them to tell you immediately if they see anything they are unhappy with.
Using these rules
Go through the rules with your child and pin them up near the computer. It is also a good idea to regularly check the Internet sites your child is visiting e.g. by clicking on History and Favourites. Please reassure your child that you want to keep them safe rather than take Internet access away from them.