E-safety is an integral part of children’s education in today’s digital world and is embedded in their learning at school. We also want to help our parents and children improve their own understanding of e-safety issues so they can learn to use the internet and all digital media in a safe and secure way.
Online Safety Guides for Parents
Children use the internet in different ways depending on their age. Internet Matters have provided checklists to help parents keep children safe online.
Although child-friendly apps can make using the internet accessible and enjoyable experience, the thousands of apps available for different types of people mean it’s important to make sure children use appropriate ones.
However, some apps may create risky situations for children, such as unintentionally revealing personal information, stranger danger and generating large bills through in-app purchasing.
Some apps that allow children to create and maintain online relationships raise some important safety issues that it’s worth knowing about as a parent:
Chatting with strangers: meeting and chatting with strangers online poses risks to young people who might be vulnerable to grooming and online (and offline) forms of sexual abuse.
Sharing a location: many apps share the user’s location. This can put children at risk from others who actively seek out children with the intention of meeting in the real world. Sharing a location can also raise concerns with identity theft and privacy.
Sending inappropriate content: with the physical barrier of a screen, some people feel more empowered to pressurise others into sending messages, often of a sexual or derogatory nature.
Social networks allow young people to maintain social relationships with school friends, distant friends or online friends they’ve never met. It is important to set up important privacy settings.
Sharing Information: many apps work on the basis of identity or phone number information. In many cases apps don’t always let you know that this information is being used, meaning children could be sharing personal information. As well as on the social networks themselves, privacy and security settings are available on most devices.
Cyberbullying: smartphones allow people to take photos and share them instantly on their social networks or post information about someone online in seconds. Sometimes this can mean young people are even more vulnerable to episodes of cyberbullying.
Parents should know about some important issues linked to decoy, gaming, and music apps:
Explicit content: although most apps now go through a process of classification and are rated based the type of content they contain, all apps are available to download by anyone who has a password to the app store.
This may expose children to explicit content, sometimes without their parents knowing. Some of this content can be illegal or simply inappropriate for children as it’s meant for adults.
Spending money: apps can cost money to buy from the app store – and some of them can be very expensive.
Some of the ‘free’ apps make their money in different ways, by encouraging you to spend money when using the app. This can mean that bills quickly build up without you even realising it.
Hiding content: some apps have been created with the specific purpose of allowing the user to hide content within them. These decoy apps can protect personal information from strangers but also allow people to hide content they don’t want anyone else to see.
'More than half of parents unaware of age limit on social media'
Use the following website to check out the social media apps your children are using. This will enable you to make informed decisions about the age appropriateness: https://www.net-aware.org.uk/#
Get expert advice
Parents seeking face-to-face advice about how to best protect their children online can make an appointment with the NSPCC’s O2 gurus in their nearest store or can call the O2 NSPCC Online Safety Helpline: 0808 800 5002
If your children are using Social Media Apps - check the following guides from the most popular apps:
Jigsaw - 8-10's; a film which uses analogies to portray the risks of posting personal details online for everyone to see.
CEOP works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account.
This clip has been created as part of CEOP's Thinkuknow Education programme, as part of educating young people on what constitutes personal information.
It is best watched with the supervision of an adult in order to discuss the content. The clip is designed for children aged between 8 and 10 years old.
Below are some websites with good resources for children or parents to access.
Below find out the key steps to staying safe online.
St Joseph's is committed to educating children about how to using Digital Technology safely. Please view our E-Safety policy: E-Safety Policy