Internet Safety

The Internet is a wonderful and amazing place with lots of information available from all over the world but, can also pose a risk to the safety of our children if not used correctly. Sensitive and inappropriate information can be sent right into our homes along with everything else. By taking responsibility for your children’s online computer use, parents can greatly minimize any potential risks of being online and safeguard their childs safety.
  1. Don’t have the computer in your children’s bedroom. Put it in a public part of the house if possible. Also try to share the Internet with your children.
  2. Tell your children NOT to put photos of themselves on the Internet or to give out their names, addresses, phone numbers, schools, or other personal information online.
  3. Get to know the sites your child uses. If you don’t know how to log on, get your child to show you. Find out what types of informationthe site offers and whether there are ways for parents to block out objectionable material.
  4. Install an Internet filter or family safety software. Family safety software is becoming extremely advanced and is an effective way to filter dangerous content.
  5. Manage your children's time on the Internet. Scheduling times when a child can be on the Internet and the amount they can be online ensures that you know when they are on the Internet and how long. By not allowing them to have free reign reduces their chances of being exposed to inappropriate content.
  6. Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by your children. Talk about the rules and post them near the computer as a reminder.
  7. Remind your child to tell either yourself or a teacher if they see a website or receive an email that makes them feel unhappy or uncomfortable .
  8. Remind your child never to download anything from the internet without your permission.
  9. By being vigilant and setting basic rules we can minimise greatly the risk to our children from the internet and allow it to be the invaluable and educational tool that it should be.
CYBER BULLYING
Technology gives our children more ways to connect, socialise, and communicate than ever before. Unfortunately, some children and young people use email, Instant Messaging, and mobile phone photos and text messages to embarrass or bully other children. Children’s digital messages can also be edited to change the meaning then forwarded to others to embarrass, intimidate, or insult. According to research carried out for the Anti-Bullying Alliance in the UK 22% of young people reported being the target of cyber bullying. Make sure your children know they must guard even the most casual text message and watch their own written words. They should never retaliate, and they should always tell you if and when they are being cyber bullied. Keep a copy of any bullying message received via a PC or laptop by using the “Print Screen” key on your computer keyboard and copying the message into a word processing program (e.g. Word). Likewise do not delete text messages or voicemails which also contain evidence of bullying. For more information visit: http://www.kidscape.org.uk/childrenteens/cyberbullying.shtml