E-safety is an increasing issue for children, and staying safe online is an important message we build into our lessons at every opportunity. In school, children follow a code of conduct for IT based on the simple principle that whatever is not OK in real life is also not OK online. This includes sharing private or confidential information about yourself, behaving in an impolite manner, or coming across anything which makes you feel uncomfortable. We talk to children about the dangers of the internet and how to use it in a safe and responsible manner. From a young age we teach the importance of password protection and polite online behaviours, which prepare them to make sensible decisions about their computer use in the future.
CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) help children to stay safe online. People who work for CEOP include police officers, teachers and social workers. They also provide the means for children and young people to report anyone who has behaved inappropriately online to them or someone they know. This could be for example sexual chat, trying to meet up with them or being asked to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
CEOP’s thinkuknow website has a specific information and advice area for parents and carers as well as age related resources for children (5-7, 8-10, 11-16).
Childnet’s KnowITall parents and carers area has resources in a range of languages including British sign language. There are areas for primary and secondary pupils as well as for those with special educational needs.
Kidsmart has information about parental controls and guides to internet devices as well as games and resources for children.
Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries. The site contains information and advice on a number of communications issues including internet services and online safety.
BBC WebWise safety and privacy site has sections on online safety, online security and online privacy, computer basics email etc, with clear, comprehensive guides.
Cybermentors is a site where children and young adults can speak to someone their own age about bullying and related matters.
Free software for parental controls
These are a few examples of free software that is available to help parents and carers keep their children safe when using the internet. Some of these products can be used on smartphones as well as computers. You can find these products, and others, by searching for ‘free parental control software’ on the internet.
Some of these products are free versions of software with less functionality than equivalent premium versions, which have to be paid for. You may also find that your internet service provider might be able to provide protection and/or parental controls software as part of your broadband package.
We provide these details as links which may be useful, not as recommendations – it is the responsibility of parents and carers to check that these products are suitable and compatible with their systems.