Bristol Steiner School believes it is essential for e-Safety guidance to be given to the pupils on a regular and meaningful basis. Though we do not teach ICT in school this does not restrict us from delivering a comprehensive E-Safety Curriculm to ensure that all our pupils develop a secure understnding of E-Safety. Educating pupils on the dangers of technologies that may be encountered outside school is also done in Religion/ PSHE lessons, Main lessons, NSPCC workshops and Assemblies.
Children must be made aware of the risk associated with IT. The risks associated with use of ICT by children can be grouped into the following categories:
- Content: exposure to inappropriate images, pornography, information advocating violence, racism or illegal and anti-social behaviour that cannot be evaluated in a critical manner.
- Contact: chat rooms, social networking sites, adults seeking to gain the trust of young people (“grooming”) with a view to sexually abusing them and risk of cyber-bullying and disclosing personal information (addresses, mobile numbers, photos, etc.)
- Commerce: vulnerability to unregulated commercial activity, potentially resulting in serious financial consequences for themselves and parents and vulnerability to fraud or identity theft.
- Culture: involvement in inappropriate, anti-social or illegal activities or exposure to unsuitable materials or inappropriate social networks using information in a way which breaches copyright laws.
Children are ‘digital natives’ – but parents need to protect them on the web.
It’s increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, especially when you are a parent trying to keep your children safe as they grow up immersed in this digital world. Cybercrime, grooming, sexting, social media — where to start?
Research released for 2017’s Safer Internet Day in the UK revealed that one in five children surveyed had been bullied with online images or videos. Additionally, roughly 70% of kids had seen images and videos “not suitable for their age” while surfing the web.
To help parents feel confident their children are safe and protected when they’re online here’s a practical list of how to keep children safe when online:
Use free filtering technology/safe modes
Most online services these days come with privacy or safe modes built-in, it’s important to switch them on for your child. Filtering tech can block harmful websites, age-restricted games, forums, chatrooms and anything else you choose. Some applications can do everything from create weekly reports for you about browsing to log the keystrokes on a device. The extent of the control needed is up to you but beware – if you come on too strict you will likely be met with rebellion.
Monitor your child’s internet history for every device they use
You don’t have to be the police state in the house, instead, make a point of checking the internet search history at the end of the day to make everything viewed is satisfactory. This is easiest if you create your child a dedicated account on a home computer or device. Note, they may learn how to delete their own records, so like most options you have this is not a full-proof choice.
Only let your child on computers or devices where you can see them
This will largely depend on the age of your child, but for the young ones it is advised to only let them use a computer, smartphone or tablet in a place where it can be monitored by an adult. When used alongside web filtering this can be an effective method of keeping an eye on what is being searched for, viewed or watched on the web.
The internet can be fun, but is not always suitable for kids
Talk about the internet and be open about what’s out there
On the internet a 50-year-old man can pose as a 15-year-old girl, chatrooms can be used for grooming and personal information is given away at the click of a mouse. Yet it is also a place for discovery, a tool to help with homework and a way to learn more about the world. Parents and children need to communicate and talk about what the internet is, what is isn’t, and how to recognise the more lurid aspects of it.
Know your child is probably smarter than you when it comes to the internet
Parents, when growing up you had VHS, cassette tapes and dial up. In comparison, your kids have Snapchat, Facebook, virtual reality, streaming services and online gaming. They have grown up in a world of touchscreens and data plans, a world where content is free and personal information means little. The world has changed, and you are likely behind the times. Don’t accept it, just be aware of it. The key in all this is not to rely on technology to solve your problems, but use it as a compliment to good old-fashioned education.
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