Would you know your Snapstory story from Instagram hashtags? Are you confident you know what your son or daughter is doing on their latest app?
We dropped by Meadowbrook Primary to speak to their Deputy headteacher Mel Willcox and find out more about internet safety and what you can do to keep your kids safe…
Children are sometimes referred to as digital natives, because they’ve grown up with technology and can make their way around a smartphone or tablet with ease. Adults, on the other hand, are called digital tourists, because they are ‘new’ to using technology.
While this is true, adults have life experiences which help shape their use of technology, yet young children don’t have a wide range of life experiences. This may lead to them making choices that could make them vulnerable or unclear of the consequences.
With new technology changing every day it can be hard to keep up-to-date with the websites and apps children are accessing through technology such as phones, tablets and laptops.
Schools can be great at supporting both children and their families to understand how to engage with technology safely. As a Regional Training Centre for Apple, Meadowbrook Primary School is a centre of excellence in regard to e-safety.
“Meadowbrook provides regular opportunities for children to discuss e-safety both through the school curriculum and through special focus days. These explore many topics including the ways children can keep themselves, and their friends, safe online,” Deputy headteacher Mel Willcox explained.
It’s not about stopping your children going online says Mel: “Parents and carers are encouraged to talk about the apps their children are accessing. While some apps and websites have age recommendations, they can be used safely with younger children provided appropriate safeguarding strategies are put in place.”
Meadowbrook’s top tips for internet safety:
Top tips for young people
- Don’t post any personal information online – your address, email address or mobile number
- Think carefully before posting pictures or a videos of yourself. Once you’ve put a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it, it’s not just yours anymore
- Keep your privacy settings as high as possible
- Never give out your passwords
- Don’t befriend people you don’t know
- Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online. Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do
- Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are
- Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude
- If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately
Top tips for parents
- Ensure social networking apps have the profiles and privacy settings set appropriately (for example: friends only)
- Monitor what your child accesses and shares with people (through conversations and supervision)
- Ensure your child is not sharing personal or private information with people they do not know
- Talk with your child about what is acceptable to share and the digital footprint they are creating
- Check sites like: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ and https://www.net-aware.org.uk for ratings on TV, books, games, apps, and websites (with ratings from experts, parents and children)
And for more information visit these websites