E-Safety Information and Advice for Parents
Internet Safety Advice from CEOP
Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends they do not know offline.
Explain to your children what information about them is personal: i.e. email address, mobile number, school name, sports club, arrangements for meeting up with friends and any pictures or videos of themselves, their family or friends. Small pieces of information can easily be pieced together to form a comprehensive insight in to their lives and daily activities.
Make your children aware that they need to think carefully about the information and pictures they post on their profiles. Inform them that once published online, anyone can change or share these images of them.
It can be easy to forget that the internet is not a private space, and as result sometimes young people engage in risky behaviour online. Advise your children not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles, or in chat rooms, that they would not want a parent or carer to see.
If your child receives spam or junk email and texts, remind them never to believe their contents, reply to them or use them.
It's not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don't know. They won't know what they contain—it could be a virus, or worse - an inappropriate image or film.
Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it's better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
Always keep communication open for a child to know that it's never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.
Some Simple Ways to Keep Children Safe Online
Get to know your child’s online habits. Children are inquisitive. They will look to explore the internet as much as they do the real world. Knowing the sites they go to, the people they meet there and what they do will help to keep children safe.
Stay alert to any sudden changes in mood or appearance, or to any major change in habits or to increased secretiveness. These are often tell-tale signs that something is not right.
Spend some time surfing the internet yourself. The more that you know about the internet, the better able you are, in turn, to help your child navigate around it without coming to any harm.
Install internet filtering software showing a Child Safety Online Kitemark on your computer. Filtering products with a Kitemark have been independently tested to provide a simple and effective means of support to parents, helping to ensure that a child’s online experience is a safe one. The Kitemark scheme is sponsored by the Home Office and Ofcom.
Be aware of professional sources of help (see useful websites).
Here is some advice about staying safe online:
The Internet is an exciting place with endless opportunities for fun, games and education. It can also be an extremely dangerous place for teenagers unless it is used properly.
Please take/encourage your children to take the following steps to make sure they are safe online:
Make sure all laptops and computers are used in a communal area where the screen can be seen by all.
Ask your child to charge any mobile devices (phones, Ipods, Ipads etc) downstairs and NOT in bedrooms.
Social Networking and On-line Gaming:
Make sure the privacy settings are set to “friends only” in the “Account settings”
NEVER include the date of birth, address or school name in the “About me” section
Children should only add or accept people they know in the real world – NOT friends of friends or people they have met online
Only post photos that you would be happy to show your gran! Be careful posting photos showing your school badge, the outside of your house/school
The best tip is to talk to your child and become involved in their online world. Ask questions about what they are doing and who they are talking to
ONLY accept people you know in the “real world”
Explain to your child that people lie online and can be mean
Tell your child never to accept an invitation to move to a chat room with someone they have met while online gaming
If your child is subjected to any form of cyber bullying:
Tell them not to reply
Keep a record of the abuse for future investigation
Tell someone in school or report the problem to the police
Be aware of the information that is visible via the webcam – i.e. names on certificates, posters of favourite pop stars
- 2013-2017 700% increase in the number of indecent images identified on technical company servers
- 2014-2017 131% increase in under 18s sharing indecent images and 20% increase in the number of identified sex offenders
- Half of all offenders are under 25 years old – most do not live in the UK
- 71% increase in child on child sex offences
- 55% of people sexting are below the age of 16
- 26% of 16-18 year olds have bullied or insulted someone online
Computer Games – Radicalisation and bullying via gaming
There has been a continuing trend that children are being bullied and radicalised via computer games. Listed below are a number of games which are played:
Call of Duty – A game where users are in a team and their objective is to shoot each other in order to win the game. Users communicate via a chat log and through a headset
FIFA – A football game where users can play in a team or on their own. Users predominantly communicate via a headset
Grand Theft Auto – A controversial game which is for 18+ only. The majority of teenage boys in secondary school are aware of this game and have played it. The game is based on being in a gang and breaking the law with guns and violence, it also has scenes of an explicit sexual nature and prostitution
All three of these games use a chat system where users can talk to each other and the users are predominantly derogatory towards to each other. The chat system is a common place for bullying as it is difficult to trace conversation logs and there is a perception that a user cannot get caught.
There are a number of apps that teenagers are using to communicate with each other and strangers. Some of the more popular apps are as follows:
Discord is a forum based app for users who play computer games. This is a common app used for people to discuss games and they communicate via the forum and headset. There have been incidents of bullying because there are no filters for language and images on the app, so users have the freedom to say what they want without consequence.
This app is mainly used by students between Year 3 & Year 7 and it is a sing-a-long app. This is the number one app in the world today for paedophiles because of the easy access to younger children. If the user does not have their settings as private, any user can send them a direct private message. A created account cannot be deleted.
Owned by Musical.ly. This is where a person records themselves playing music and streams it live to the internet, so anyone can view what the user is doing. It has the same login as musical.ly. The user can record and share photos too.
Twitch is a social media app which allows users to record and stream themselves playing a computer game to the internet. Twitch account users can view a user’s content and make comments. There are no filters for the comments that can be made and this is a persistent avenue for online bullying. Twitch recently communicated that they are looking to improve their anti-social behaviour policies for the app as it is a common place for bullying amongst teenagers.
Snapchat is a very popular app and it was recently found in a study that 75% of all teenagers use it. The app allows you to take a photo or video via your phone and send it to a user, which is available on another user’s phone for 10 seconds only and then the message/video cannot be viewed. However, to keep the photo or video, receivers can use a screen grab.
If a user sends a photo to another user and they send it back the same day then both users complete a streak – The idea is to keep the streak going. Responses must be sent back within a 24 hour period to keep the streak going. Because of the nature of Snapchat’s 10 second rule, teenagers are subject to a lot of e-bullying because it is perceived by others that a user will not be held accountable for any threatening or derogatory comments as the evidence will not exist in the long-term and it cannot be traced.
Whisper is an ‘Agony Aunt’ website designed to help users with any particular issues they may be having in their life, such as issues surrounding sexuality, relationships and self-esteem. An issue/concern can also be posted to Facebook and a user’s friends can now see if there is an issue. This is a popular place for paedophiles to offer support for vulnerable children who have limited or no privacy settings on their Facebook account, as the paedophile can pretend to be a user who is offering support.
Linked to Snapchat, this is predominantly used by years 7-13. Messages can be sent anonymously and this can cause e-bullying. Derogatory comments are easily sent due to the anonymity of the app. These comments can cause self-esteem issues for users, as they are being made about a user who doesn’t know who is making the comments. The comments can be cut and pasted onto a Snapchat or Instagram story.
This is a social media and dating app for teenagers, similar to Tinder. The user creates a profile and adds an image. The profile links up with other people who are located in the same area as the user. This is also linked to Snapchat. This is a popular avenue for paedophiles, who can create an account and befriend other users without any proof of identity.
Paedophiles often have the intention of finding out where youngsters live so that they can blackmail them/befriend them/meet with them. It is vital that users of any social media site or app ensure that their privacy settings are set to private and location services are turned off, as it is very simple to locate where a user is using an app.
Safety – Parents and Students
Here at Hylands School we believe that every member of the school community has a right to an education free from intimidation and fear.