Brunswick House Primary School is a certified National Online Safety School, which is a recognition of the importance we put into ensuring our children are fully aware of how to be safe whilst they are online.
Online Safety is taught to all pupils which explains and demonstrates how to stay safe and behave appropriately online but we can only be successful in keeping children safe online if we work with you. Your help is needed to talk to your children about how they can keep themselves safe and behave appropriately online. It’s important that we are all vigilant when children are using the internet and act to ensure they are protected from people who may pose a risk to them. Children can accidently or deliberately be exposed to illegal, unwanted or unpleasant content, comments or activity online and there are steps you can take at home to minimise this risk.
- Discuss as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what information should be kept private (such as personal information, photos etc) and decide rules for making and meeting online friends. Ensure your children know the risks of accepting friends’ requests from strangers online and make sure you know what your child is doing online much like you would offline.
- Discuss using strong passwords with your child so they understand how they can protect their online accounts. It’s important they know they need to keep their passwords safe and not share them with anyone or use the same password for several accounts. If your child’s account is “hacked” or compromised then make sure they change their password and report any concerns or suspicious activity. For more advice on using strong passwords visit http://tinyurl.com/Getsafeonlinepassword
- Ensure that you understand how your children’s devices work (e.g. can they download apps). Install antivirus software, secure your internet connection and use Parental Control functions for computers, mobile phones and games consoles to block unsuitable content or contact.
- Always remember that parental control tools are not always 100% effective and sometimes unsuitable content can get past them, so don’t rely on them alone to protect your child.
- Consider locating your computers and laptops in a family area where children’s online activity can be monitored or supervised. Always supervise the use of webcams and any applications or devices which allow voice or video chat. Also consider the use and location of other devices your child uses which allow internet access such as mobile phones and games consoles. Visit www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/a-parents-guide for safety information about consoles and devices.
- Talk to your child and ask them to show or even teach you how they use the internet, learn which websites or tools they like to use and why. Learning together with your child can often open opportunities to discuss safe behaviour online. It’s important that you know all of the sites and apps that your children are using and that you make sure they are suitable (e.g. read the sites terms and conditions) and age appropriate.
- Ensure that your child knows that once a picture, video or comment is sent or posted online, then it can be difficult to remove and control as other people can forward it share it without them even knowing.
- Always ensure you and your child know how to block and report people online who may send nasty or inappropriate messages or content. Explore privacy settings, help guidance and any information on the site for parents. Encourage your child not to retaliate or reply and to keep any evidence of cyberbullying messages.
- Make sure your child knows it’s important that they tell an adult they trust if anything happens online that makes them feel scared, worried or uncomfortable.
- It’s essential to be realistic: banning the internet or web sites often will not work and it can make a child feel less able to report a problem or concern, so education around safe use is essential.