Update to guidance during the coronavirus pandemic:
HM Government has published further guidelines on how to stay safe online during COVID-19. The guidance includes a section for parents and carers, including parental controls, how to talk to children about staying safe online and health guidelines.
What is Online Safety?
Online Safety highlights the importance of educating our children about the benefits, risk and responsibilities of using a wide range of technology both in and out of school. Online Safety is about safeguarding children and young people in the digital world. It is making sure that children know how to use exciting new technology in a positive way.
The issue of online security for children is taken extremely seriously by governments and police forces around the world. There are police taskforces to monitor exploitation on the Internet and organisations that offer advice and help.
One site that offers a range of advice about safety on the web is the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
Some of the key issues dealt with sites like CEOP are:
- Know how your child is accessing online content and if possible have them do this somewhere in the home where you are so that it is not a secret.
- Talk to your child about the issues to do with online safety and how they use the Web, Generate an atmosphere of trust so that your child can feel confident and secure when accessing content on the Web.
- Encourage your child to tell you anything which they feel unhappy or unsure about. Reassure them that they will not get into trouble for doing this and that it is never wrong to flag up something they are concerned about.
- Know how to report your own concerns. Either directly on a website, to your child's school, through CEOP or ultimately to the police. No matter how trivial you think something may seem, it is always worth reporting it if it makes you uneasy or you think there is the possibility that someone is acting inappropriately towards a child online.
Further advice and guidance is available from KCC at : KCC online safety
Protection at School
At school your child is protected in many ways:
- Children are taught about appropriate content during computing lessons
- Internet filtering
- Virus Protection
Each child will bring home a School Internet Acceptable Use Agreement which is talked about in school and should be discussed at home as well. Parents and children then sign the agreement to say that they agree to use the internet safely and appropriately in school.
For up-to-date information from KCC, visit Kent e-safety - Safer Online, an online safety blog by Rebecca Avery, Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection).
Parent Info from CEOP and ParentZone offer expert information to help children and young people to stay safe online.
NSPCC have relaunched Net Aware, a guide to the social networks popular with children.
UK Safer Internet Centre have a very useful site with easy to understand hints, tips and conversation starters for parents.
In the parents’ sessions run in schools, the UK Safer Internet Centre get a lot of questions about particular devices that children are using or asking for. This guide has been created to answer these questions and introduce some of the most popular devices, highlighting the safety tools available and empowering parents with the knowledge they need to support their children to use these technologies safely and responsibly. Click to link to Parents Guide to Technology
Reporting an Online Safety concern
If you want to report an Online Safety concern please visit the UK Safer Internet Centre website (www.saferinternet.org.uk) or speak to one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads in school for advice.
Concerns over popular games, websites and apps
Please find below a set of factsheets outlining concerns, as well as tips to stay safe on several popular websites and games. These include Fortnite, YouTube, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram and Tiktok.