Online Safety Tips for Parents & Carers
We have teamed-up with the SWGfL (South West Grid for Learning) and UKSIC (UK Safer Internet Centre) for some basic eSafety advice.
Keep It Nice
Remind your children that being kind online is up to everyone. If they do see something upsetting or abusive online, they should block and report it, and talk to you or another trusted adult about it.
Do look out for the PEGI age ratings on the games your children want to play – they work in a similar way to age ratings for films and should be respected. Games also have PEGI labels – visual icons to indicate if the game contains violence, scary content and so on.
We all love sharing photos of days out, picnics or holidays by the pool. However it is worth thinking how you share these photos and with whom. Consider who you want to share what with and manage your lists of contacts. For example you can create a ‘close friends and family’ list of your Facebook contacts and share some pictures with a limited group of people, rather than everyone on your list of contacts – including colleagues, or mere acquaintances.
Sometimes it can be really difficult to actually figure out the cost of a phone or tablet but even the most basic of smartphone can actually cost a small fortune. The cost is sometimes hidden behind a monthly contract and it's not until the phone is dropped on its screen or someone loses it that you suddenly find out just how much these phones and tablets really cost. Do check the insurance policy on your child’s phone and consider whether it is worth having one or not.
Lost and Found
Take a look at your child’s mobile phone and tablet. Most now come with an app that can allow you to locate it if your child misplaces them. However, as good as these apps are, they are not pin point accurate. They can give an indication of where the device last connected but that doesn't mean it is still there and the accuracy varies greatly between each device and each application.
One of the most important things these apps do though is give you the ability to lock the device and remotely wipe its data. You may have lost the phone but at least no one is looking through your photos, contacts or bank details.
ICE stands for In Case (of) Emergency. You create a contact in your child's phone called ICE and have the number as someone who an emergency service worker - doctor, first aider, etc - can contact. Should your child become ill or injured blue light services are trained to look for an ICE contact if they find a mobile phone.
In App Purchases
Now is a great time to check your parental settings both on your phone and your child’s devices.. You can set a block on your child’s phone to prevent them from downloading any apps which have in app purchases.
It's Good To Talk
Parents are often reluctant to talk to their children about technology, because they feel that their children know more than they do. And that may well be true! However, although they may know how to use apps, tablets, consoles and other high tech gadgets what they often lack is life experience and the ability to think about their actions and consequences. So, most importantly this summer, talk to your children about what they enjoy doing online, get involved in what they are doing, play games with them, ask them what that funny- looking app is on their screen so you understand what they are using. You don't have to be a computer genius to impart practical safety advice.
We hope these tips are helpful and offer some practical advice. Enjoy a safe digital summer!