We have sent home a letter today with lots of very helpful and practical advice regarding safe use of the internet. This information is vital for you and your children to read and spend some time talking about.
Here are a few excerpts:
Make sure you read any parental guidance and safety recommendations (including age requirements – most popular social networking sites and apps are only for users aged 13+, 16+ or 18+) for any apps or websites before allowing your child to use them - visit www.net-aware.org.uk
Instagram – an online mobile photo sharing, video sharing and social networking service which enables its users to take pictures and videos and share them on a variety of social networking platforms. You are required to be at least 13 years old before you can create an account.
Facebook – a social networking site. You are required to be at least 13 years old before you can create an account.
Whats App – an instant messaging app for smartphones. The user agreement requires users to be age 16 or older.
- Discuss together as a family how the internet will be used in your house. Consider what information should be kept private (such as personal information, photos in school uniform etc). 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 and talk about keeping passwords safe e.g. not sharing them with anyone or using 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 https://www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-your-computer/passwords/
- Consider locating your child’s computers and laptops in a family area but be aware that children access the internet on mobile phones, games consoles and tablets so use can’t always be supervised.
- Be especially aware of setting rules relating to your child’s use of webcams and any applications or devices which allow voice or video chat. Childnet have useful information for young people about using webcams safely www.childnet.com/young-people/secondary/hot-topics/video-chat-and-webcams