Top ten tips to staying safe online:
1. When posting something online, consider who you are sharing it with. Ask yourself would you be comfortable showing it to a relative, person in authority or someone you respect. If not don’t do it.
2. Consider using the privacy and security settings on social media sites so only your friends and family see your pages
3. Don’t use your real name. Consider using a nickname if you are signing up to a site such as Twitter.
4. Take care when choosing passwords and try to avoid using real names or even pets names for security purposes. Choose passwords only you know that cannot be traced.
5. Never post personal information such as addresses, email addresses or phone numbers publicly online. Do not give your real date of birth. One piece of information can lead to identity fraud.
6. Be careful about the photos or videos you share online. Avoid photos of places you are associated with eg home or school. Once photos are shared they are no longer yours.
7. Only share conversations and messages directly with the person you want to communicate with otherwise millions will be sharing your conversation.
8. Close down old or unused accounts to avoid leaving information out there unnecessarily.
9. Never arrange to meet with someone you have met and talked to only online. Share the information with a trusted adult and if a meeting is arranged, take them along with you and meet in a public place.
10. Always tell your parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied. Remember the Think U Know website if further information is needed: http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk
Parents want their children to be safe online. Although it is important to have regular discussions with your children about their online use, there are some ‘parental controls’ –a set of tools that can help you to ensure their safety. Each new Year 7 cohort attends a presentation by former Essex Police Detective Sergeants.
The ThinkuKnow website is run by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and includes advice and information for parents, carers and children. CEOP’s Thinkuknow for parents and carers page includes separate sections for primary and secondary aged children, a video explaining internet safety for parents and plugins to make your browser safer.
Here information can be obtained on;
What is my child doing online?
Risks my child might face
Tools to protect my child
How you as a parent can get involved.
Tablet or mobile for Christmas?
The KidSMART parents’ page contains advice and activities to help keep your children safe online.
The Parentzone website contains a wealth of information about e-Safety. It is run by Vodafone and is frequently updated. They produce the Digital Parenting Magazine that is sent out to parents by school. Recent issues can be viewed online.
Online bullying can be devastating for children. Children should be encouraged to discuss their problems with an adult. They may be reticent to for fear their phone or computer tablet will be taken from them. Advice to parents from Essex Police is to avoid the temptation to do this and to instead encourage children to share their concerns if they see anything upsetting or disturbing online. The Childline website contains helpful information about cyberbullying. The government has recently produced a useful leaflet on Online bullying that can be downloaded by clicking the link below.