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Advice if you are worried your child might see something inappropriate online
There is no ID required online but that does not mean you cannot protect your child from adult content. These are some tips for protecting your child online.
Things they might see
The internet is a public and open place, one where anybody can post and share content. This is part of the fun but it does mean that your child might see something that is intended for adults which might confuse or upset them. This could be violent or sexual content, extreme opinion or inappropriate advertising.
You cannot always be there when your child is using internet enabled devices.
Children often tell us that a reason they don’t tell a parent or carer when something goes wrong or upsets them online is because they are worried the adult will over react and take their technology away from them.
What is inappropriate?
Inappropriate can mean different things to different people, from swear words to pornographic images or videos, and what is inappropriate for your child will also change as they grow and develop.
What can you do to protect them?
As well as having the all-important conversation, there are some technical (and simple) things you can do to limit what they see:
Set Parental Controls. Parental Controls software will enable you to filter inappropriate content and to set time limits for using the internet and apply age restrictions for games they play. Most major Internet Service Providers, like Talk Talk, Sky, BT and Virgin Media, provide free parental controls, as do most games consoles.
You could find out more about setting parental controls up by using the website: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/Parental-controls
Set the search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.) they use to a ‘safe’ mode. This means that the search engine will look to block any obvious adult content and not provide it in search results.
YouTube is particularly popular with secondary aged children but think about the range of content they can be exposed to on it. It is all too easy for children to click on related videos and end up watching something more adult so make sure you supervise younger children using it.
It is also advisable that you set YouTube search to ‘safe mode’ and the advice for setting You Tube in safe mode can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/yt/policyandsafety/safety.html
Having a conversation
It is important to explain what is meant by ‘inappropriate’ and please remember, no matter what you have told them, as we all were as children, your child will be curious as they grow. Talk to them about what they might see if they were to type the wrong words and please make sure they know that whatever they have seen, if it has upset them or raised questions that they can always come to you or report to a responsible adult.
This information has been adapted from the Thinkuknow website which offers a range of e-safety information for children, young people, practitioners and parents/carers:
Click here for more information on Young People and on-line Safety
Why is it important to stay safe online?
The potential for the internet to be a valuable and fun resource for entertainment, making friends and learning is huge. But if you use the internet, you could be at risk of illegal activity or abuse - be it bullying, fraud or something more serious. Unlike seeing someone face to face, on the net, people aren't always what they first seem. In the same way you learn about safety when you leave the house, it is important to learn how to stay safe online. These are skills that will stay with you for life
TOP TEN E-SAFETY TIPS
1. Always think of your personal safety first when using ICT or your mobile phone. Remember it is easy for
anyone to lie about who they are online, so you can never really be sure about who you are talking to.
2. Do not give out any personal information about yourself online to people you do not know. This includes
your full name, address, street name, postcode, or school name. Only ever give out your location as Essex.
3. Never give your contact number to anyone who you don’t know.
4. It’s a good idea to use a nickname rather than your real name.
5. Don’t meet people that you have only spoken to online. If you do decide to meet up with anyone in real
life then make sure you take a trusted adult with you and meet in a public place at a busy time.
6 . Never give out pictures online or over a mobile unlessyou know the person in real life. It is easy for people
to take your pictures and alter them, send them on, or even pretend to be you with them.
7. Always use private settings whenever you are setting up a social networking page or an Instant
(IM) account. This is so people who you don’t want to see your profile can’t.
8. Anything you post or upload to the internet is there forever so be very careful what you put online.
9. Never go onto webcam with people you don’t know in real life. Webcam images can be recorded and
copied and also shared with other people.
10. If you receive any messages or pictures that worry or upset you talk to an adult you trust. You may also
report it online, via the thinkuknow website http://www.thinkuk.co.uk
Click here for E-Safety Provision Map
Click here for WhatsApp Parents Guide
Click here for SnapChat Parents Guide
Click here for more information on Sadfishing
Click here for Keeping children safe
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