For many our students, tablets and smartphones can be a lifeline. However, accessing social networking sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. can leave them vulnerable to inappropriate behaviours.
Students need to understand that if they reveal too much about their lives in the search for ‘Likes’, it could lead to cyber bullying, online predators and possible fraud as well as affecting their future as things are never deleted from cyberspace.
Unfortunately, sitting behind a screen gives people a distance in which they feel they can make inappropriate and hurtful comments about others. There are many forms of cyber bullying just as there are ‘playground’ bullying and there are signs to look out for such as
- Being ill at ease when receiving an email, instant message or text message
- Feeling upset after using devise
- Switching or hiding screens when you walk by
- Refusing to leave the house or go to school
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
If you have any concerns try to talk to your child and look at the below sites for more help.
What you can do as parents/carers
To support your child’s use:
- Discuss social network and internet use regularly with your child so they are used to talking about the subject.
- Be aware of what apps your child is signing up for, their age limits and default safety settings. If you can help set up the app with your child, amend any privacy settings as appropriate.
- Advise your child not to accept friend requests from people they do not know.
- Unless it is essential, keep devises out of bedrooms overnight.
www.safetynetkids.org.uk is a useful website designed for children and young people to read through for extra advice.
5 online areas all parents should know (published by Parentzone)
Remember to check the privacy settings on your own social networking sites. Think before you post pictures, videos or information about your child that might compromise them now or in the future. Even though posts, pictures and comments etc. can be deleted they are never permanently erased (even Snapchat posts are stored for 9 months!)
What school do:
Internet Safety Group - In January 2018 the first LWF E-Safety Meeting was held with representatives from different classes, Academy Advocate, Emma Wiltshire and PCSO, Louise Borman. The group will meet regularly and host events throughout the year, click here to see the most recent newsletter.
Assemblies and Events – such as Safer Internet Day