Because e-safety is such an important issue we make sure at Loxford that it is part of the curriculum every year for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. This is achieved through a unit of work in the first Spring half-term aimed to link in with Safer Internet Day. In addition e-safety and data security issues form part of our Computing courses in Key Stages 4 and 5.
Below you will find further information about e-safety, with links to a range of websites which provide excellent information and advice.
Children use the internet to socialise (communicate with friends and make new ones), browse for information, search and download media, chat and play games. They may:
- search for information or content on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo
- share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Vimeo and YouTube
- use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter
- write or reply to messages on forums and message boards like Ask.fm
- play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles
- chat with other people through online games, BBM (Blackberry Messenger), games consoles, webcams, social networks and tools like Whatsapp, Viber, Tango
When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family. Whilst the internet has many benefits it has many risks associated to it. As parents and carers it is our duty to understand and communicate these to help keep children under our care safe online.
Many risks have arisen with the accessibility and use of the internet by younger people. Whilst the recommended websites (below) cover the risks in depth and provide answers on how to deal with them we shall list them:
- Identity Theft
- Inappropriate Content – not suitable for age
- Premium Rate Services – apps etc
- Downloading illegal content
Sexting is sending sexually explicit messages and/or suggestive images. One example that you may have heard of is ‘nudes’. Despite the name, sexting is not only limited to mobile phones, images can be sent through any messaging service, including emails and social media such as Facebook or Whatsapp.
The law says that it is illegal for children under the age of 18 to take an explicit photo of themselves OR a friend, sharing these images is also illegal.
These include but are not limited to:
Photos of girls where the upper body is exposed
Pictures showing explicit actions
Any image of private body parts
If a child under the age of 18 is found in possession of any sexual images, this can be recorded as a crime, meaning that if you take or share any of these types of image, you will be given a criminal record.
Sexting has affected both young people and adults in terrible ways. After taking inappropriate images, many have become victims of having those images shared publicly on social media, where their family and friends can see them.
It doesn’t end there. Many employers when considering job applicants will check to see if they have any social media accounts and what type of content they are posting. If there are nude images online of an applicant, they will be able to see these as well. What seems like a harmless activity can actually affect.
Should I allow my children access to the Internet and give them devices to connect with?
We have compiled a list of websites on e-Safety that we’d recommend. There is some cross over and repetition of certain content on the various sites and therefore for your convenience we have commented on what we felt was the highlight of particular websites.
Internet Matters is a independent, not-for-profit organisation. Their website is comprehensive and covers online safety for a range of age groups, discussing topics such as cyberbullying, online pornography, sexting, inappropriate content, online reputation, online grooming and privacy/identify theft. Furthermore, it features guides on apps, going mobile, social networking, chatting, online gaming, downloading and viruses and parental controls.
Safer Internet is a website that has advice and resources for both young people and parents/carers. It has a research section and furthermore for your convenience it has signposted a number of organisations related to e-Safety (link).
The ‘Have a conversation’ page, as it shares important conversation starters to open dialogue between you and your child on using internet safely. Note: there is a complimentary page on the Child Net website (see link)
Safer Internet Day 2017
Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. For SID2014, over 650 organisations got involved, reaching 25% of children and 18% of teenagers.
The UK Safer Internet Centre – a partnership of three leading charities; Childnet, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation – provide resources for children, schools and families, and tools for getting involved at www.saferinternet.org.uk.
Globally, Safer Internet Day is celebrated in over a hundred countries, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, and 31 national Safer Internet Centres across Europe.
The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. Ultimately, a better internet is up to us!
UK Safer Internet Centre
– founded and operates an e-safety helpline for professionals working with children in the UK
– operates the UK’s hotline for reporting online criminal content
– develops new educational resources for children, parents and carers and teachers to meet emerging trends in the fast-changing online environment
– delivers education sessions for children, parents, carers, teachers and the wider children’s workforce
– shapes policy at school, industry and government level, both in the UK and internationally, and facilitates youth panels to give young people a voice on these issues.
The Child Net website is perfect for the diverse community we have at Loxford given it features parent guides in several languages. The ‘Supporting Young People Online’ booklet is available in English in addition to the Arabic, Bengali, French, Polish, Somali and Urdu languages.
The highlight has to be the interactive e-Safety guide for parents and carers; it is available in multiple languages and even British Sign Language, which is great!
Cyber Streetwise is the web portal of a government initiative whose focus is to help safeguard you, your family and your business from cyber crime.
Become Cyber Streetwise using the ‘To Do List’ questionnaire, that creates a tailored action list to make you Cyber Smart!
Digitally confident, as the name suggests the site seeks to improve digital literacy and raise awareness of safeguarding issues. It is a great bank of resources and source of e-safety news.
The site is like a portal that signposts to related articles and news publications.
Think U Know is a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection ) website. It has content for parents, carers and adoptive parents.
A section dedicated to parents of children in Secondary School