With the constant changes with technology it is very difficult to keep up-to-date with what your child might be doing online and what you can do to best support them.

The information below is not an exhaustive guide but it is a starting point as to what you can do to support your child whilst at the same time having open lines of communication so that they are able to talk to you if something if worrying them.

Child Safety Checklist:

Check and Adjust the controls;

Adjust the parental controls on your broadband and internet-enabled devices, depending on your child's age. Your broadband provider can tell you how. Find out how to setup safe search in Google by going to https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/510?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

Talk to your child

Stay interested in what they're doing online and discuss what they might have come across. Don’t be afraid to tackle difficult subjects like cyberbulling and sexting. They will be discussing these topics with their teachers in their PDC lessons and we will let you know when we discuss a certain topic so that you can follow this up with your child.

Privacy Matters

Children feel that if they have lots of likes online or many friends then this can make them seem more popular. It is actually just putting them at more risks as many people will now have their details. To support them make sure they set high privacy settings on social networks. Encourage them to regularly change their passwords and never to share or put online any of their personal details like phone number, address or their school.

Help them to think about what they post

Once you post something online it is their forever and cannot be deleted and can have an impact on our wider life. Remind them that they should only post things online that they wouldn’t mind you, their teacher or a future employer seeing. This is particularly the case at the moment with lots of political agendas going back and forth and they can quickly fall into a trap that might be seen as inflammatory.

Stay Safe on the move

Make sure safety and privacy settings are activated on their mobile devices and they aren’t sharing private information. Be aware that using public WiFi might not filter inappropriate content, so look for friendly WiFi symbols when you’re out and about.

The videos produced by CEOP below are an excellent starting to know more about what your child might be doing online and what you can do to protect them.

Internet Matters have a very informative website that informs you of the best way to support your child on the most popular social media platforms that they might use.

Please click on the social media platform below and it will take you to the correct Information Matters subpage.

Facebook- https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/facebook/

Instagram- https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/instagram/

Snapchat- https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/snapchat/

Tik Tok- https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/tiktok-privacy-and-safety-settings/

Twitter- https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/twitter/

What's app- https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/whatsapp/

Yubo- https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/yubo/

Finally, you might be concerned that your child has done something they should not and are worried about the impact that this might have on them now and in the future. Well, firstly you are not on your own and school will support you. Open and honest communication is a really good starting point to and from there we can work together to help. These two guides are also an excellent starting point and give you all the up-to-date information on the law and where you can get support. One leaflet is for parents/carers and the other is for students.