If you’re wondering how you can help your children to enjoy the internet and keep them safe at the same time, you’re certainly not alone. Many parents find it a challenge. But with toddlers taking to touch screens like ducks to water and so many education and entertainment opportunities online, it’s vital that you take action early on. By setting boundaries and offering support from the moment they first log on, you can help your children to thrive in the digital world.

On Friday 9 January, the NSPCC launched a public education campaign, called Share Aware, to help parents keep their children safe online.

The campaign is aimed at parents and carers of children aged 8-12 – the age at which they start doing more online, become more independent and use a greater range of devices.  The campaign aims to encourage parents and carers to understand online safety and to have conversations with their children about keeping safe.

Having conversations from a young age can help build trust and openness and get preventative messages across.

However, many parents feel confused by the internet and out of their depth in understanding what their children are doing online and what the risks might be. The Share Aware campaign aims to give parents the tools to feel confident to have these conversations. The campaign directs parents to a range of new resources, including Net Aware, a simple NSPCC guide to the social networks, sites and apps children use – as rated by parents and young people themselves.

There is also a downloadable guide and a hard copy booklet for parents, containing top tips for keeping your child safe online, as well conversation starters to help parents have conversations with their children. All these resources will be available on the Share Aware page http://www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware.

A new online safety campaign called Internet Matters launched recently. Funded by four of the UK’s leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – the campaign follows the introduction of their ‘whole-home’ parental controls. www.internetmatters.org/

Setting up ‘Parental Controls’ to help prevent age inappropriate content being accessed in the home and on mobile devices.

www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/parents-and-carers/parental-controls

www.vodafone.com/content/parents/howto-guides.html

Vodaphone’s Parents has the most comprehensive set of parental control step by step instructions, and up to date guidance support websites that I can highly recommend. Please do read their quarterly ‘Digital Parenting’ magazine, I’ll be shocked if you aren’t amazed by some of the articles – quite enlightening!  The ‘Get Started checklist by age page is essential to help parents establish reasonable boundaries and guidance from as early as under 5’s; moving on to 6 to 9’s, 10 to 12’s and 13+ age groups.

www.vodafone.com/content/parents.html

Although any help guide and pdf information sheet can be out of date within mere weeks of publishing with many hand-held devices, gaming console or social networking sites updating their services so frequently, we have compiled several rather informative, such as ‘How to …. Parental Guides’.  Please click here to visit our documents library’s eSafety category documentation.

Parents/Carers need to be aware of ever changing new technologies and trends in order to better educate our children how to protect themselves. Watch a few of the eSafety awareness videos and technology articles below, if any of these raise concerns you’d like to know more about, then please do come along to one of our eSafety: Keeping Your Child(ren) Safe in this Digital Age” parent presentations.

“How do we safeguard our children and guide them to become web-SMART?

Click on the picture icons to link to external websites and scroll down to visit the
 ‘How to set parent controls …’ pdf document guides. Haven’t got time to browse, want to go to one site? 
Then click on the Childnet International logo on the left.

Want to know more, please click on the logo’s on the left and browse through links, videos and documents provided below. Thank you!

The internet is an integral part of children’s lives, enabling them to undertake research for school projects, develop problem solving skills through strategy adventure games and access information, which allows the opportunity to learn from the wide variety of material and games available on the internet.

Setting some family safeguards and agreeing eSafety rules will help children understand the importance of keeping safe and ensure they know they can always talk to you or a trusted adult, such as a teacher, if they see anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.

• It is advised for parent/carers to locate the computer children have access to in a family area, not a bedroom, to supervise children as they learn what “appropriate use” really means.

• It is recommend a responsible adult sets their browser home page to a recommended ‘Safe Search Engine’ and checks websites to ensure they are age and content appropriate. Child friendly search engines apply higher level filtering systems to help you safeguard your child at home, however no site is guaranteed ‘safe’.

• What may be considered a safe site today might not be tomorrow. Pay particular attention to image advertisements as they can change each time the web page is accessed, and for this reason parents and carers are advised to set the security levels within a browser, such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, with appropriate levels of security.

• For secure online learning environments, such as username membership sites, please set the url site address as a ‘Trusted Site’ (security settings) in your browser’s Tools/Internet Options.

ParentControlDocsClick here to visit our eSafety – parents and carers guidance document information. 
Please be aware no sooner will a factsheet be published, e.g. Facebook Privacy Settings, than potentially a month later an update has run and instructions maybe out of date.  All documentation is correct at the time of publishing, but we urge you to use the supplier and eSafety provider guidance website links provided below to regularly keep yourself informed how to best safeguard your child.

Most of us are on the Internet on a daily basis and whether we like it or not, the Internet is affecting us.  It changes how we think, we work, and it even changes our brains.

What the Internet is doing to our brains.

This 4 minute video shows an interview with Nicholas Carr, the author of, "The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains", about how it is influencing us, our creativity, our thought processes, our ideas, and how we think.

Child Exploitation & Online Protection (CEOP); The Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet.

This 26 minute video has been created to provide a light hearted (the first section is a little 'tongue in cheek'), building to a more realistic look at what it takes to be a better online parent.

Covering topics such as, talking to your child about the technologies they use. With interviews from leading experts such as, Professor Tanya Byron, Dr Linda Papadopouls and Reg Bailey, as well as key industry players from Facebook, Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters.

This online video guide is part of our parents eSafety presentation, please refer to the parental control and additional handouts in our school documents library!

Animal Magic; Online friends. (5-7yrs)

Meet Lee and Kim. Lee loves to play a game called 'Animal Magic' on his computer. Kim likes to watch her older brother to meet and see all the animals in the game. They have a great time playing with the animals, chatting with the people behind the masks, but sometimes online friends say mean things and some people might not be who they say they are!

Superhero SID teaches children how to stay safe on the internet.

What online games do your children play that uses characters to chat with, do you know how to block nasties?


CEOP; Jigsaw (8-10yrs)

This 9 minute video is a story about a young girl who likes to use social networking sites. Becky has her own profile where she shared everything about herself, what she enjoys and lots of photos of her and her friends.

What simple steps should Becky have taken to better safeguard your 'digital life'?


Newsround; Caught In the Web (9-11yrs)

This 15 minute video is voiced by David Tennant, it tells the story of a girl called Lonely Princes, who gets into danger after meeting someone in a chatroom.

It also has lots of tips on how to be safe, and case studies of children with real-life experiences of how things can go wrong; Cyberbullying, Gaming Addiction, Grooming ...

Cyberbullying; ‘Let’s Fight it Together’ (Transition 11-13 yrs)

A very thought provoking 15 minute film. The parts in this film were played by actors as an honest portrayal as 38% of young people have been affected by cyber bullying, NSPCC 2013 statistics

For more information on this topic visit Kidscape, the first charity in the UK established specifically to prevent cyberbullying and targeted abuse.

Visit the Young Minds parents advice website if you are concerned your child might be affected by cyberbullying.

Cyber Grooming (content age appropriate)

Click here to visit ThinkUKnow Grooming; Primary website for more information and parental guidance.

Grooming is a process of manipulating a child to gain control over them; as a parent or carer you should be approachable so that if your child is concerned about something, they know they can talk to you. Sadly, it is important that children understand that people like this exist and that they should never do anything online or offline that they are uncomfortable with.

Let your child know that you are always there for support, afterall you understand how easy it can be to get into difficulties online. Get them to talk to you if anyone makes inappropriate/ sexual comments and ensure they know that, no matter what’s happened, you are there to help.

MAKE the most of tools like Parental Controls on computers, mobiles and games consoles, privacy features on social networking sites, and safety options on Google and other search engines, why not visit Google’s Family Safety Centre website for lots more information.