Using the internet, mobile phones and games consoles are now an everyday part of young people's lives. However, there are risks for children and you, as parents and carers, need to know how to protect your child(ren) effectively.
We have created this page to give you some tips on how you can keep your child(ren) safe, as well as provide you with some informative websites for you to find out more information.
Some top tips for parents/carers:
- Communicate with your child about their online habits.
- If your child(ren) has Facebook, insist that they add you as a friend.
- Have up to date anti-virus protection.
- Setup parental controls on your Internet Service Provider (ISP; your ISP will be able to give more information about how to do this).
- Make sure that you are familiar with the https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk website.
- Always seek advice if unsure.
Just like adults, teens use Facebook to connect with friends - through chat, personal messages and sharing of photos, videos, links and other kinds of information. They use Facebook to announce achievements, wish each other a happy birthday and plan social events — like going to the cinema or to a friend's house.
A source of useful information can be found here , a document created by YHGfL that you can print out and refer to.
Help your child stay safe on Facebook by visiting the Family Safety Centre.
There was a story in the Yorkshire Evening Post recently that we would like to bring to Parents and Carer's attention around a change in the Snapchat App. We are aware that many of our students use Snapchat. The new feature is a tracker where they can view the exact location of their friends, including the street and house on a map. This essentially means that anyone could see the exact location of your child. Obviously, we thought that parents may be quite alarmed about this and have received advice that if the App settings are changed to "ghost mode" then no one can see where they are. The new feature is only found in the most recent updates version and if you ask your child to go to "selfie mode" on the camera and zoom out, it will give you the option of changing to who can see your location. We urge you to ensure that your child has changed their setting.
- Know which websites your child visits and help them find the 'report abuse' or 'block sender' options so that they can feel in control.
- Tell your child not to reply to unpleasant messages.
- Urge them to keep evidence - not to delete bullying texts, emails or posts on social networking sites, as they can often be traced.
- Encourage them to take action and talk to you if they are being cyberbullied.
- Regularly check and clean their 'friends' lists on social networking sites.
- Be involved in your child’s online life. For many of today’s young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the internet to socialise and grow and, just as you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too. Talk to them about what they are doing, if they know that you understand then they are more likely to approach you if they need support. Click here for tips on how to discuss tricky issues with your child.
- Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. It is important that as your child learns more, so do you.
- Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what your child might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to continue to discuss boundaries so that they evolve as your child’s use of technology does.
- Know what connects to the Internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the Internet. Your child will use all sorts of devices and gadgets; make sure that you are aware of which ones can connect to the Internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the Internet – is it your connection or a neighbour’s Wifi? This will affect whether your safety settings are being applied.
- Consider the use of parental controls on devices that link to the Internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.
- Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are. Make sure that your child knows never to meet up with someone that they only know online. People might not always be who they say they are. Make sure that your child understands that they should never meet up with anyone that they only know online without taking a trusted adult with them.
- Know what to do if something goes wrong. Just as in the offline world, you want to help your child when they need it. Therefore, it is important to know when and how to report any problem.Click here to find out what tools are available to help you keep your child safe.