Helping your child stay safe
when using social media
At St. George’s we take the safety of our pupils very seriously, especially when using the internet. We would like this approach to online safety to be taken at home too so your child/children are always safe online.
Below are some useful tips, and guidelines to help your child online and please do not hesitate to contact us at school if you have any concerns or questions about keeping your child safe online.
The best way to help your child to be safe when using the internet and new technology is to talk to them and make sure they understand these simple rules:
- Your child should never give out personal details to online ‘friends.’ Use nicknames when logging on and don’t share full name, email address, mobile number, school name or any photos, including photos of family or friends- any pictures or videos online can be changed or shared without permission.
- Install antivirus software and ensure that you keep it up-to-date. There are many good, free versions available such as AVG, Avast or Avira. Secure your internet connection and use parental control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles, to block unsuitable content or contact. Please remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective, so don’t rely on these alone to protect your child.
- Always supervise the use of webcams and applications which allow voice or video chat and consider your child’s use of other devices that allow internet access, such as mobile phones and games consoles.
- Many digital cameras, mobile phones and tablets now come with geo-tagging or geo-location facilities. This is a location based program that identifies the whereabouts of the user. It can be used to locate where a photograph was taken or where a person happens to be at a particular time. It is therefore advisable to turn off this feature on children’s equipment.
- Talk to your chid about what they are doing online and who they are talking to. Get them to show you how to use things you are not familiar with. Keeping the computer in a family room means that you can share your child’s online experience, and they are less likely to act inappropriately.
- If your child receives a message that upsets them, remind them not to reply, they should save the message and show you or another trusted adult e.g. their teacher or another adult at school.
- Do not open files sent from people you do not know. They could have a virus or even an inappropriate image or film.
- Tell your child that an online ‘friend’ is anyone you have not met in real life.
- Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that it’s better to keep online ‘friends’ online. They should never meet up with anyone they have met online.
- Make sure they know how to block someone online and report them if they feel uncomfortable.
- Make sure you know language and the acronyms used on the internet.
- Give explicit reasons behind boundaries, time limits and parental controls
- Remember the three w’s when your child is online:
Who your child is talking to
Who can see what they share online?
What they’re doing
What personal information are they are sharing?
Where they’re going online
Where are they sharing information – is it safe?
- Make sure your child feels able to talk to you, let them know it’s never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable. Don’t blame your child; let them know you trust them.
Useful Websites for more information about online safety and your child:
(NSPCC- Net aware provides reviews and guidance on the most popular social networks, apps and games
that children use.)