Technology has become integral to young people's lives and it is important that they know how to stay safe online and make the most of the opportunities that the internet provides. This website gives some useful advice for parents to help young people stay safe online.
Childnet’s Top Security Tips
- Use different passwords for different activities online; and never share your password, even with a friend.
- Treat your phone number like your credit card. Unless you are really confident you know how a website will use your number, don’t enter it online, as you could end up being charged.
- Be careful of things that sound too good to be true. When you come across adverts claiming you can win prizes, be careful if you enter them, and never give out your phone number.
- Only download software or apps from trusted sources.
- If you receive spam, do not reply and don’t click on any links. Never give away account details or personal information.
- Be careful of posts or ads that look like they are from friends on social networks. Is it something a friend would say? If not, it might be best to avoid it.
Take a look at CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) – The Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet
The Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the Internet’, has been created by CEOP to provide a light hearted and realistic look at what it takes to be a better online parent.
The following link provides information about the age ratings used to ensure that entertainment content, such as films, videos, DVDs, and computer games, are clearly labelled by age according to the content they contain. Age ratings provide guidance to consumers (particularly parents) to help them decide whether or not to buy a particular product.
Screen time – finding a balance.
- Set sensible limits
- Choose appropriate media
- Do digital things together.
- Keep a balance between online activities and physical/creative activities.
Three top tips for building your child’s online resilience.
- Rather than making inflexible rules, have a conversation.
- Create a supportive environment for exploration and learning.
- Don’t be too hands-off.
Snapchat - What do to if you're worried·
- Block the user. To block someone from sending you snaps, tap the Menu button, then My Friends. When you find the person's name in your friends list (or under 'Recent' if you haven't added them), swipe right across their name on Apple devices or, on Android phones, press and hold on the person's name, then press Edit and then Block – or just Delete if you want them off your list. And because there is no mass-sharing, no one will see your content unless you choose to send it to them.
- Flag underage users. If you are concerned about a person using Snapchat who is under 13, you can report the person by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Report abuse. If a child receives inappropriate photos or someone's harassing them, contact Snapchat via email@example.com or by going to Snapchat.com and clicking on Support. In the unlikely event you encounter anything that appears to be illegal or dangerous or if you have reason to believe someone is at risk of harm or self-harm, contact YoungMinds on 0808 802 5544 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).
- Delete the account. If Snapchat isn’t for you (or your child) you can delete the account by going to http://www.snapchat.com/a/delete_account, as long as you have the user name and password.
For many children online life begins before birth, when their excited parents-to-be post ultrasound images on social media. According to a recent poll, the average parent will share their child’s image online nearly 1000 times before their fifth birthday (The Parent Zone, 2015).
For parent bloggers the total is likely to be double that, or more.The internet can provide fantastic tools for sharing special moments from your child’s early years with family and friends. And online parenting forums, networks and blogs often provide valuable support and reassurance through parenting’s ups and downs. But before you share, you should give thought to exactly who can see photos and comments featuring your child, and how this online footprint might affect your child in years to come.
What should you consider?
When did you last check your privacy settings?
On most social networks the default is that any other service user can access your pictures, which may also appear in internet search results. Remember that anyone who can see a photo can also download or screenshot it, and could go on to share it.What else are you sharing? You might be sharing more than what’s in the post. As default, many cameras, phones and apps tag posts and photos with ‘meta-data’ which can include location details and other identifying information. This is potentially risky for any child, but poses particular risks for vulnerable children such as those who have been fostered or adopted and could be sought online by members of their birth family.
Ownership Under the terms and conditions of most social networks, when you share a photo you licence the network to use and reproduce your image, and grant it the right to licence it for use by third parties. It could be used for commercial purposes, a point deliberately highlighted by the Danish company Koppie Koppie, which sold mugs featuring freely downloaded pictures of young children. Another online activity which has distressed parents and carers is the ‘Baby Role Play’game played by some Instagram users, who repost photographs of other people’s children and create fictional identities based on them.
Their digital tattoo
Every publically accessible image or comment featuring your child contributes to a public image which will follow them into the future. That apocalyptic nappy incident might make for a hilarious tweet now, but if it comes to light when they’re older, how could it affect the way they feel about themselves, or you, or how others see them? Could their online childhood become an issue if they are seeking a job, or a relationship, or even election to public office?
What are parental controls and how can they help children stay safe online?
Filters and parental controls may not be the complete answer to keeping children safe online, but they are undoubtedly the first line of defence. It's now possible to set filters on your broadband, your devices and your applications. Here, from Internet Matters, is what you need to know.
parental-controls - shows parents how to set up filters on your home internet to help prevent age inappropriate content being accessed on devices in your home. The 4 big internet providers in the UK – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media - provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time. They have come together to produce these helpful video guides to help you to download and set-up the controls offered by your provider
NSPCC – advice for parents to help children and young people stay safe online.
UK Safer Internet Centre – Parent/carer resources and advice
CEOP Thinkuknow – Resources and advice for parents and carers.
Get Safe Online – free government website with useful advice for internet safety
BBC Webwise – learn about technologies, security, safety and parenting online.
social-networks - This website gives the safety features available on the most popular social networks.
Parents Guide to ooVoo - This link gives a guide to using ooVoo, especially the setting up of privacy settings on most devices