E-Safety Information and Resources
Technology is hugely valuable for education, as well as a way to keep in touch with friends and family. However, it’s important we all consider how we (school staff, parents and carers) can support children’s online safety. It is also essential that we all work together to empower Holy Trinity students by giving them the tools to deal with online threats and to make the internet a better place! Our goal at Holy Trinity is to prepare students – step-by-step with well-informed support – for the internet as it actually is.
All of the information and resources on this page are taken from the experts at the organisations listed (with links) at the bottom of this page.
Make time to start a conversation with your child about how they use online technology and what it means to them. Make sure you know what they are watching. The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about what they do and what sites they like to visit. If they’re happy to, ask them to show you.
Keep the devices your child uses in communal areas of the house such as the living room or kitchen, where an adult is able to supervise how much time is spent in front of a screen. Primary-age children should not access the internet in private spaces alone, such as in a bedroom or bathroom.
Use this opportunity to remind them of some key strategies for safer internet use, such as:
- being careful with what they share, including images, videos and personal information
- taking control of who sees what they post by using privacy settings (https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/)
- being mindful of who they are chatting to and gaming with – do they really know and trust them? If not, they shouldn’t share personal details or agree to meet them in other online spaces. Remind them that they can turn off the chat.
2. Help children develop online resilience
In order to make the internet a better place for children (and everyone else), it is important that children learn how to report and block inappropriate content. Social media apps and websites often have reporting tools. It is essential to empower children online because it is almost inevitable that children will encounter unpleasant experiences (much like life) at some point. Teaching children who to talk to, when to talk about things and how to constructively overcome these issues is our goal.
- Help them know that they can approach you and encourage them to the speak to an adult immediately if they have any concerns. It is also to help your child identify trusted adults who can help them if they are worried: This includes you and other adults at home, as well as adults from wider family, school or other support services who they are able to contact at this time. Encourage them to draw a picture or write a list of their trusted adults.
- Show children how to use the reporting tools on their favourite games.
- If they’re worried about what a friend is doing online, help them to come to us at school about it and to know that we will take it seriously and deal with it in confidence.
- Talk them through how they can make a report to CEOP if something has happened to them online or they’re worried about what a friend is doing online and they feel they can’t tell a trusted adult
- Remind them that they can contact Childline if they have any other worries, for example if they are being bullied. They can also use the Internet Watch Foundation and Childline’s Report Remove tool to report a nude image or video of themselves that’s been shared online
3. Use parental controls
Parental controls can be a great tool to help protect young people online, and should be installed on any new device that they use. Pre-installed parental controls are available for most smartphones, tablets, laptops (https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/smartphones-and-other-devices/) and game consoles (https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/gaming-consoles/), and are part of the system when you buy them. You can often download additional parental control apps and software to supplement these controls. But the most important thing is to set the controls on the device itself.
Step-by-step Guides to set controls on major broadband providers and mobile networks can be found at https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/broadband-mobile/. This provides you with an internet filter that will help to restrict access to inappropriate material however it is not fool proof and some content and sites can be encrypted, which means they’re coded in a way that prevents the controls from knowing what the content actually is, so filters will not necessarily apply. There are also ways of bypassing filters using what’s called a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if your child is technologically savvy enough.
Parents and carers can find the information they need to use these controls effectively by at Think you Know (parental controls article) or Internet Matters (https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/). Controls are not a single solution to staying safe online and ongoing conversations with your child are just as important.
4. Talk about being kind online
Primary-age children who may not have previously had much experience with video chatting apps such as zoom, FaceTime and Skype, are now experts at Google Classroom and Google Meet due to our lockdown learning experiences. Help them to remember how to behave kindly online, making sure that they would be happy for you to see all their comments and posts, and to keep in touch with family and friends. Remember, post wisely because the internet never forgets.
You may find this article on how to help your child to have a positive experience video chatting online, helpful; https://parentinfo.org/article/video-chatting-a-guide-for-parents-and-carers-of-primary-school-age-children.
5. Check if it’s suitable
The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. For example, the minimum age limit is 13 for several social networking sites, including Facebook and Instagram. www.commonsensemedia.org/ is a good source of advice about specific games, apps and films and lets you know what content you might want to talk about before or after a film, game or app is seen.
There are many national organisations which provide useful information about internet safety for parents and carers:
- NSPCC – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The NSPCC has a section of its website dedicated to online safety.
- CEOP – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command – a government agency which protects children, is part of the National Crime Agency. Reports on concerning or illegal online behaviour can be made by visiting this website. The CEOP logo can be found on many websites and can be used for advice or to report concerning sites or behaviours.
- Thinkuknow.co.uk – the educational programme of the CEOP. The thinkuknow.co.uk organisation has a parents website. There are a lot of home activity worksheets for fun, online safety activities to do with your family and guides on how to set up parental controls or privacy controls on devices and apps.
Parent Zone – a social enterprise partnered with the UK government. ParentZone is aimed at empowering young people, parents and professionals to build the skillsets needed to analyse and deal with challenges they face online. They provide an online app which can help parents and children respond to these challenges.
- National Online Safety – a training organisation specialising in e-safety. National Online Safety is a training organisation used by many schools across the country. Their website has free resources on a wide range of topics across different age groups.
- Internetmatters.org an organisation helping parents keep their children safe online. Articles on particularly popular on-line games can be found at internetmatters.org. Here is a link to their article on Among Us. https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/news-blogs/is-among-us-multiplayer-game-safe-for-children/
Let’s all be safe online together.