Keeping safe online
Please click here to see our school e-safety presentation.
You can make sure your child is safe online by using technical parental controls and creating your own rules. Rules should cover things like which websites they can visit and how long they can spend online. You should also stress the importance of keeping personal information safe.
Computers and other digital technologies like games consoles and mobile phones have parental controls. These let you do things like:
block selected websites and email addresses by adding them to a filter list
set time limits for use
prevent your child from searching certain words
Before you set rules you can check the equipment’s user manual or the manufacturers’ websites to see what controls you have access to. You can also contact your internet service provider (ISP) or mobile phone operator to find out about any child safety measures they offer.
Setting rules with your child
When making a set of rules for using the internet, it’s a good idea to include your child. Being involved will help them understand the dangers and give them a sense of responsibility. It will also let them know what kind of websites you think are suitable.
The best way to keep your child safe online is to get on the internet yourself to learn how they use it. This will help you to set reasonable rules.
Acceptable internet use
Some examples of acceptable use might include:
the internet-connected computer must be in a family room with the screen facing outward so you can see what’s going on
if your child accidentally goes to an unsuitable website they should tell you – you can delete it from the ‘history’ folder and add the address to the parental control filter list
it’s never OK to use abusive or threatening language in any online communication
your child should take breaks from the computer every 30 minutes for health and safety reasons
your child shouldn’t download unknown files from the internet without you agreeing – it’s best to never download unknown files at all
Child-friendly search engines
You should make sure your child is aware of child-friendly search engines. These filter out inappropriate internet sites so that they are able to search the internet safely. Your child can also use traditional search engines with safe search settings turned on.
Your child’s personal safety online
It’s important your child realises that people online might not be who they say they are and could be dangerous. They should also be aware that any personal information they give out can be used in financial scams or for bullying.
To keep your child safe you should tell them not to:
give out personal information to people they only know online – this includes name, home address, landline and mobile numbers, bank details, PIN numbers and passwords
supply details for registration without asking for permission and help from you
visit chat websites that aren’t fully moderated/supervised
arrange to meet an online friend in person without your knowledge and permission (if you agree to let them, you should always go along with them)
give any indication of their age or sex in a personal email address or screen name
keep anything that worries or upsets them online secret from you
respond to unwanted emails or other messages
You can monitor your child’s internet use by checking the history folder on your browser as it contains a list of previously visited sites.
This information has been found on the DirectGov website. For more information about how to keep yourself and your child safe online you might like to visit:
Cleveland Police Stay Sate Newsletter
Crown copyright material
Concerned about how to keep your child safe on line?
Click on the link below for advice and guidance.
PARENTS – SEE BELOW FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE SAFE USE AND POTENTIAL DANGERS SURROUNDING CERTAIN APPS & SITES.
The following document has been produced by the police (January 2016) as a resource to be used for Safer Internet Day (February 9th 2016). It outlines what different APPs and sites do. It gives you information on the recommended ages, what the APP does and how our child may be at risk.
As you can see, the youngest recommended age is 13, but the reality is that many parents still give their child access to the internet with supervision or direct guidance. Without this, internet behaviour can be invisible. You would not allow your child to leave the house without knowing where they are going, who they will be with, what they will be doing. We make sure they can get there and back safely. You must view online socialisation in exactly the same way. Children are naturally curious and they can be very naïve about the Internet. If you do not check or guide – they may assume they are safe, despite all of the guidance and warnings we give them at school.
Please do take the time to read the following information.
Safer Internet Day is designed to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones. While the internet and the technology used to access it is rapidly evolving, providing exciting new experiences and methods of communicating, it is important that children and professionals alike do not forget the risks that are associated with it. As a result of cultural developments like sexting being a relatively recent practice, ethics are still being established by both those who engage in it and those who create legislation based on this concept. Nevertheless, the law currently views any sexual pictures of anyone under the age of 18 years as illegal due to the inherent risks to children being exploited and their pictures being distributed. Safer Internet Day is therefore a wonderful opportunity to provide children and professionals with the knowledge and awareness of how to utilize the technology available to them in an informed way to keep themselves and each other from exploitation and harm.
Sexting is sending and receiving sexually explicit messages, primarily between mobile phones.
The Pew Research Center commissioned a study on sexting, which divides the practice into three types:
- Exchange of images solely between two romantic partners
- Exchanges between partners that are shared with others outside the relationship
- Exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where at least one person hopes to be.
Sexting has become more common with the rise in camera phones and smartphones with internet access, that can be used to send explicit photographs as well as messages as modern camera phones can record sexually explicit images and videos in privacy.
Sexting has been promoted further by several direct messaging applications that are available on smartphones. The most popular applications for this use are Kik, Snapchat and WhatsApp. Kik and WhatsApp appeal to teens because of the anonymity of the applications. Snapchat appeals to teens because it supposedly allows users to send photos for a maximum of ten seconds before they selfdestruct.
- Kik Messenger is a free instant messenger application for mobile devices from Kik Interactive, available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone operating systems. Kik
Messenger is modeled after BlackBerry Messenger. It uses a smartphone’s data plan or WiFi to transmit and receive messages, photos, videos, sketches, mobile webpages, and other content after users register a username.
- In March 2015, Kik announced that it would begin using Microsoft’s PhotoDNA Cloud Service to automatically detect and report the distribution of child exploitation images. The proposed child exploitation tool however will only remove and scan for known child pornography that exists in an international database. The new tools will not be able to screen messages from pedophiles who may be engaging in child grooming.
- In September 2015, Kik introduced a new feature called Kik Codes, making it easier for users to start chatting with a user or join a group chat. This gives each user a unique Kik Code, similar to a QR code that other users can take a picture of to quickly start a chat with them.
Child exploitation is therefore sadly prominent on Kik Messenger, and during 2014 a paedophile told The Trentonian newspaper: “I could go on it now and probably within 20 minutes have videos, pictures, everything else in between off the app because I know they’re both still active. That’s where all the child porn is coming off of.”
- Snapchat is a video messaging application. Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as “Snaps”. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of September 2015, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds) after which Snapchat claims they will be deleted from the company’s servers.
- The “Stories” functionality allows users to compile snaps into a “story” that can be viewed by other users in chronological order, with each snap available for 24 hours after its posting.
- Friends can be added via usernames, phone contacts, using customizable “Snapcodes”, or through the “Add Nearby” function, which scans for users near their location who are also in the Add Nearby menu.
- One of the primary ways Snapchat users keep photos is through taking a screenshot. Users can take screenshots by capturing a photo of their screen while the snap is showing. Many technology blogs online give a step-by-step walk-through of how to avoid detection and save snaps. The most popular way is through a variety of applications available on the App Store. The most well known applications are Snapkeep, SnapBox and SnapSpy.
WhatsApp Messenger uses the Internet to send text messages, images, video, user location and audio media messages to other users using standard cellular mobile numbers.
- As of September 2015, WhatsApp had a user base of up to 900 million, making it the most globally popular messaging application
Periscope is a live video streaming app for iOS and Android
- On August 12, 2015, it was announced that Periscope had surpassed 10 million accounts, just four months after it was launched. It was noted that over 40 years of video was being watched per day. On December 9, 2015, Apple named Periscope as the iPhone App of the Year.
- Periscope users have the option to tweet out a link to their Live Stream. They can also choose whether or not to make their video public or viewable to only certain users. Scopes can be LBB (Limited by Broadcaster) which disallows comments. Apart from providing the similar functionality of live-streaming to users’ Twitter followers, Periscope also gives users an option to let anyone play the stream back.
- Periscope allows viewers to send “hearts” to the broadcaster by tapping on the mobile screen as a form of appreciation. Up to 500 hearts can be given per session and users can log out and log back in to give more hearts. The maximum number of users that can be followed is 8,000.
- On September 8, 2015, Techcrunch reported and later confirmed that Periscope was building an AppleTV app. On September 10, 2015, Periscope added the ability to broadcast live in Landscape view.
Meerkat is a mobile app that enables users to broadcast live video streaming through their mobile device. Once signed up, Meerkat users have the option of connecting their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and stream directly to their followers as soon as they go live. The app is available for both iOS and Android.