Our internet safety week started on Monday evening with a talk delivered by Police Community Support Officer, Josh Read of Thames Valley Police (TVP). The seminar delivered information and statistics around the less positive side of the internet; it covered what to be aware of and the tools/tactics parents can use to ensure their children stay safe online.
The three main principles from TVP are:
Simple yet effective principles, which we have applied throughout this post.
The worldwide web is an amazing place that is full of positive experiences with information readily at our fingers - you can find anything you want, and quite often don't want! Harmless words can bring up results that are not harmless or age appropriate, that's why taking a few simple steps can help limit the risk to your child.
Tips for staying safe - Parents
- Be aware of the dangers that exist and what sites your children engage with
- Have open conversations with your children
- Ensure security settings are set to the right level (and regularly check they've not been changed)
- Set up password protection for app downloads (change these regularly)
- Limit data usage
- Set up safety blockers, blocking inappropriate websites
- Create time limits for device usage and check-in regularly (once week) with your children
- Follow their social feeds - this is not about being intrusive but having an open relationship, being understanding and building two-way trust
- Read and share resources with your children about internet safety (a useful list can be found at the end of this post)
- Report inappropriate websites or behaviour to CEOPs or your local Police (see website links at the end of this post)
As part of our continued efforts to raise awareness about staying safe on and offline we supported today's #SaferInternetDay and their #giveasmile campaign. The UK Safer Internet Centre has made positivity the core focus of their campaign, working with schools throughout the UK (and internationally) to ask our young people 'To Be The Change'. The campaign focuses on the Power of Image, representing the growing trend of sharing visual content. The aim is for our young people to create change and help contribute to a positive online experience, helping to lift each other up, be kind and support each other.
Images of some of our young people involved in raising awareness through their positive smiling faces.
All too often young people adopt an 'It won't happen to me' attitude, so it is vital that together we keep awareness high, not just today but continuously.
We have lots of activities taking place throughout the week, designed to engage, educate and empower our students, giving them the right tools and information.
The Webber Independent School has a no mobile phones policy during school hours, we feel this helps keep our students safe, focused on their studies and removes unnecessary peer pressure. We regularly run educational talks for parents and students, deliver lesson based activities and promote safeguarding and wellbeing throughout the school. There are lots of resources widely available on the internet (links at the end of this post), which can be valuable when helping your children understand the risks of being online.
Below you'll find some videos that demonstrate the real dangers, please be aware that you may find the content difficult to watch - however they provide powerful knowledge.
Kayleigh Harwood – Kayleigh’s Love Story
Coby Persin – Social Media Predator Experiment
Tips for staying safe - Young People
- Think before you post - is this appropriate? Would I want my parents or grandparents to see it? Would I want anyone else to share it?
- Don't share private contact details - home address, telephone number, email address, it's a big NO NO, and so is geotagging (tagging your location can lead anyone right to you)
- Private mode - put your profiles on private mode so only friends and family can see you
- Reduce friends - limit the number of 'friends' you have on your social sites
- Report bad behaviour - sites or images that are not appropriate, report it
- Speak up - if you experience any negativity online speak to someone
- Block it - if in doubt, block unwanted communication straight away
- Passwords - don't tell anyone your passwords, and change them regularly
- Would you say it in person - your comments can affect you and others, don't make it hard for your future self
- Don't know them, don't meet them - it's better to be safe than sorry
Popular Social Sites
Below you will find a list of useful web resources, please take the time to click through and read.
We hope you found this article interesting and useful; please share to raise awareness or tag us in your photographs - together we can make a difference.
Enjoy the wonderful worldwide web and all its positives. Just remember to stay aware and stay safe #giveasmile #SaferInternetDay