Online Safety - (E-Safety)
The best way to keep your child safe online is to be involved, the buffer between."
"Online safety is the shared responsibility of everyone."
The internet is an amazing place. It can help you to keep in touch with your friends, help with your child's education and entertain, but it can also cause harm. The positives of the digital world overwhelmingly outweigh the negatives but children, schools and parents all need to be aware of various online risks.
Remember help is always available at school if you or your child is having any problems online.
If you, or anyone you know is worried about or dealing with, Cyberbullying, Child Exploitation, Online Protection or anything related to Internet safety you can speak to the following:
Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) - Mrs Tracy Bryden
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads - Miss Stacey Roberts & Mrs Holly Bates
Or, click the link below which will take you to the CEOP reporting website:
Helpful links to look at with your family
Tips for staying safe online:
Online Safety Advice
National Online Safety Group
The National Online Safety Group offers guides to support adults and children with anything related to online safety. Follow the links to see the different guides.
Internet Safety Posters and Guides
Lego Build and Talk
Lots of fun and engaging activities focusing on different topics related to Online Safety. Topics include cyberbullying, screen time, false information and online security.
Christmas Devices - Parents
As Xmas is approaching many children and young people may be asking for new devices. It's important that parents think carefully about these devices and the parental features that are available. It's equally important parents think about what the device will be used for, e.g. an all-singing-all-dancing smartphone when it will only be used for messaging and the odd phone call, would a dumb phone be better?Internet Matters has put together a couple of really good guides for parents:
It has been brought to our attention that some of our students are having issues with the online platform Roblox. Our understanding is that the age rating is from 7 years upwards however some elements of the platform are more suited to older children.
Here are some helpful links for guidance on Roblox and parental controls.
Fortnite - Chapter 4 - Parental Guidance:
The newly released Chapter 4 of the popular gaming platform Fortnite, brings with it many new additions. internet_matters.org have created a helpful guide to enable parental controls and ensure that your young person's account is safe. Fortnite parental controls and privacy settings | Internet Matters
Instagram - Muting Undesired Content
Instagram have just introduced a new feature so that users can fine tune their Explore page and mute undesired content. The function works very similar to the YouTube 'not interested' function which tells the algorithm "I don't want to see any more of this stuff". This is a brand new feature, but it is worth sharing this new functionality.
Social Media Checklists
South West Grid for Learning have produced some great, free checklists for a number of years and regularly update them. The most recent updates are for Snapchat and TikTok, you may find these useful to give out to your students and/or send home to parents.
WhatsApp - Parents Guide
As one of the most popular messaging apps used by all age ranges and around 2.7 billion monthly users, WhatsApp has been adding new features over the last year or so which some parents may not be aware of so it might be worth sending a reminder out to them. Internet Matters have put together a really good 'how-to' guide for parents which you can access HERE.
The things social media influencers do and say online can be quite impactful. Around a third of children and young people think that, because the influencer is a 'celebrity', what they share is always good. But we know that isn't the case, sometimes it can be advice based on pseudo-science, selling something because they've been paid to and much more.HERE.Internet Matters have a great article where various specialists offer advice and guidance to parents/carers to help them to to their children thing critically about social media influencers. You can find the article
Social media companies are coming under more scrutiny and pressure around the world to protect under 18's using their services. Last week Meta announced new policies to further protect under 18's when using Facebook and Instagram which includes further restricting content recommendations and hiding age-inappropriate content. For certain searches Meta will direct the user to expert resources. Due to email filters I can't mention the specific content, but you can find out more in the SWGfL article HERE.
In April 2023 Snapchat introduced My AI, essentially a chatbot. There was no choice, it was an embedded feature, and whilst many users are reporting a positive or mixed experience there have been some significant concerns over the advice being given to younger users (see HERE and HERE for examples). Last week Snapchat expanded their Family Center tools which, amongst other features, allows parents to restrict the ability for My AI to respond to chats. Further details of these new features can be found HERE and the full list of teen protection features can be found HERE.