E-Safety is about ensuring young people feel safe when accessing new technology. With more online social networking sites appearing, it is important that your child uses these safely.
Social networking sites allow you to create an online persona and interact with friends and other members of the public.
Most of these sites allow you to make your profile visible only to chosen friends but many people decide to share their profile with anyone and everyone. These very popular sites are a fantastic opportunity to interact with others in the electronic age but, sadly, a few individuals also use these sites for bullying and intimidation.
What can you do?
It is important to know what your child is doing online and how they use chat, instant messaging, blogs, forums and social networking sites.
A great idea is to get them to show you how it all works. Don’t be afraid to ask and don’t panic if you're not quite sure. Take a note of what programmes and sites they use to research later on.
Try setting up some rules which you agree on. Make sure that your child understands how to protect themselves online and what to do if they feel at risk.
I want to block these sites!
If you are convinced there is no alternative, you can install filtering software. But be aware that there are ways around these and your child may feel they have to hide what they are doing from you.
If you come across bullying on a site then you should report it to the site itself. Users of Bebo and MySpace for example, can remove messages and prevent non-friends from leaving messages. Check out the help pages on the site concerned.
If it's a bit more serious than that, you can report it to CEOP or the police if someone is in danger.
Access to these sites is banned in school, so for help or advice, please follow the links below:
- Think U Know
- Get Net Wise
- Cyber Bullying
- Get Safe Online
- CBBC Newsround
- School ICT use policy (PDF)
Please remember to talk to your child about your concerns and support them to use the internet wisely.
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