In school we have filters and control over the different devices we use; however we know that instead of restricting pupil use, it is better to educate children on how to safely use the internet and what to do if they run into problems.
The school still follows the government code: 'Zip it, Block it, Flag it'. Extracts are summarised below:
The code has three simple actions:
• Zip it – keep your personal stuff private and think about what you say and do online.
• Block it – block people who send you nasty messages and don't open unknown links and attachments.
• Flag it – flag up with someone you trust if anything upsets you or if someone asks to meet you offline.
Make sure your child knows to always keep private information safe and watch what they say on the internet. People may not be who they say they are online and it’s not always possible to control who can see your child’s information.
Your child should know not to give out information like:
· their full name, photos,
· postal or email addresses
· school information
· mobile or home telephone numbers
· details of places they like to spend time
Make sure your child knows that they shouldn’t arrange to meet people that they have only met online. Even if they have been chatting with someone for a while, that person is still a stranger.
You can help keep your child’s information safe by setting privacy settings. This can restrict access to personal information and photos on things like social networking sites.
You should also encourage your child to use a nickname instead of their real name in chat rooms or on instant messaging services. To stop people accessing your child’s online accounts, encourage them to keep their passwords secret, and to change them regularly.
Get your child to block people who send offensive messages and tell them not to open unknown links and attachments. They should delete any suspicious emails or attachments as they may contain something offensive or have a virus that can cause damage to the computer.
One of the main ways children can come across inappropriate content online is through search results. Most search engines include a 'safe search' option that excludes results containing inappropriate images or key words.
You can also install parental control software to filter out harmful and inappropriate content for computers and some mobile phones and games consoles.
The final rule is that your child should come to you or a trusted adult if they are worried or unhappy about anything they see online. They should also do this if a friend, they have made online, has asked to meet them in the offline world.
If your child does experience inappropriate content online, report it to the website it appears on. UKCCIS has developed an internet safety 'one stop shop' with more information.
As part of our internet safety workin school in Feb 2019, we have become aware that some children are playing online games where additional user generated content may be unsuitable for their age. One game in particular that was mentioned was 'Granny'.
Parents need to know that Granny is a free-to-play indie horror game with grotesque art, blood and jump scares that are too intense for young children. PGEI's rating for this game is 12+ for the following: Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes, Infrequent/Milk Realistic Violence. Granny can be accessed through the Roblox app, as well as an app download.