It is essential that both schools and parents help make the Internet an exciting and safe place for children to learn.
The use of the Internet and new technologies are encouraged. It is a huge bank of educational resources, communication is made easy and anyone can become a publisher on the web. The possibilities are endless!
Whilst parents mainly use the Internet for web research and e-mail, young people are using it mainly for interactive chat, instant messenger (IM), music, games and social networking. Parents use the web mainly for ‘downloading’ information, whilst children are commonly using it for ‘uploading’ information. All of which could potentially put your child in danger if the correct supervision, monitoring and filtering systems are not in place.
How do we implement internet safety in school?
The school educates our students about internet safety in Computer Science lessons at lower school. Students are educated about safe internet usage, the dangers of online strangers, digital footprints and how to protect themselves online. Students are taught about internet safety, computer crime and cybersecurity all of which are reinforced by our LIFE lesson program that runs across all five year groups, as well as assemblies with guest speakers taking place at various times of the academic year. Awareness is consolidated with activities in form time during National Internet Safety Week.
The school also implements internet safety on the school network. For example, the school uses a firewall to block access to malicious websites. In addition, teaching staff have monitoring software that observes user activity in lessons where students are using computers. Going further the school uses monitoring software on all school computers that notifies the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) in the event of any dubious or risky activity on the internet. The DSL is notified in real-time and logs are recorded and archived should an alert need further investigation.
So what are the main dangers?
- Not all information on the Internet is accurate – are you children being incorrectly educated?
- Illegal copying and downloading of music
- Unsuitable material – pornography, violence, racism etc.
- Harassment and stalking
- Threats and intimidation
- Identity Theft
- Public posting of private information and images
What can you do?
- Educate your child on e-safety and provide a list of guidelines and expectations for what you believe is acceptable behaviour, e.g.:
- Do not give out personal details
- Do not post photographs
- Do not talk to people you do not know
- Never arrange to meet anyone
- Suitable usage
- Ensure the correct security settings are in place
- Keep the computer in a family room
- Check the settings of social networking sites to ensure the privacy settings are in place
- Check the history and cookies of your computer
- Encourage your child to inform you of any unsuitable material found
- Monitor changes in behaviour
- Report any unsuitable content/behaviour to the relevant organisations
Vodafone publishes a magazine filled with articles by experts, "How to" guides and much more - all to make it easier for you to get involved in your children's digital lives. Click here to download.