What is E-Safety?
E-safety is the safe use of information systems and electronic communications, including the internet, mobile phones and games consoles. It is important that children and young people understand the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
- e-safety concerns safeguarding children and young people in the digital world.
- e-safety emphasises learning to understand and use new technologies in a positive way.
- e-safety is less about restriction and more about education about the risks as well as the benefits so we can feel confident online.
- e-safety is concerned with supporting children and young people to develop safer online behaviours both in and out of school.
Using the Internet safely at home
Whilst many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer filtering systems to help you safeguard your child at home, it remains surprisingly easy for children to access inappropriate material including unsuitable texts, pictures and movies. Parents are advised to set the security levels within Internet browsers with this in mind. Locating the computer or tablet in a family area, not a bedroom, will enable you to supervise children as they use the Internet. However, don’t deny your child the opportunity to learn from the wide variety of material and games available on the Internet. Instead, set some simple rules for keeping them safe and make sure they understand the importance of these rules.
Simple rules for keeping your child safe
- To keep your child safe they should:
- Ask permission before using the Internet
- Only use websites you have chosen together or a child friendly search engine.
- Only email people they know (why not consider setting up an address book?)
- Ask permission before opening an email sent by someone they don’t know
- Do not use Internet chat rooms
- Do not use their real name when using games on the Internet (create a nick name)
- Never give out a home address, phone or mobile number
- Never tell someone where they go to school
- Never arrange to meet someone they have ‘met’ on the Internet
- Only use a webcam with people they know
- Ask them to tell you immediately if they see anything they are unhappy with.
Using these rules
Go through the rules with your child and pin them up near the computer. It is also a good idea to regularly check the Internet sites your child is visiting e.g. by clicking on History and Favourites. Please reassure your child that you want to keep them safe rather than take Internet access away from them.
Talking to your children about staying safe online
We regularly use our PSHE lessons to remind your children about the importance of staying safe online. You can use some of the resources below to continue the conversation.
Recently Ofsted produced a useful 'Online Safety Webinar' for parents and schools. The webinar focuses on the work of the Breck Foundation. This foundation is a self-funding charity, raising awareness of playing safe whilst using the internet. It was established following the death of a young boy called Breck who was groomed online.
The webinar lasts for around 1 hour. For parents who are short on time we would recommend that the first 23 minutes are watched, after that Ofsed focus on what schools and inspectors can do to keep children safe.
Things you can do to keep your child safe online:
- check your parental controls on your PC to stop then accessing inappropriate material;
- accessing games on a console or tablet? Here's how to set parental controls: Ask About Games
- have a conversation, discuss sites and apps together, talk about any concerns they may have;
- talk about personal information and what not to share online;
- is your child accessing social networks? Most of these have an age limit of 13+, check the content and age limits of what they are accessing here: NetAware
- Is your child playing computer games, check the age limit here: Netaware
As well as the Breck Foundation website, the NSPCC website provides further resources and links on how to keep your child safe online. Live My Digital, is an educational site aimed at families. The site has links to a video series which covers the following online safety themes:
- The digital footprint
- Identity and self-esteem
- Relationships and grooming
- Security and privacy
Safer Internet Day 2023
Safe Internet day this year is on the 7th February 2023
Safer Internet Day is a global campaign to promote the safe and responsible use of technology, which calls on children and young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers and more, to help to create a better internet. Using the internet safely and positively is a key message that we promote in school, celebrating Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity for us to emphasise the online safety messages we deliver throughout the year.
Whether you have 5 minutes to start a conversation or hours to spare, there are top tips, quizzes and films which you can use at home with your child. If you have any concerns or questions about keeping your child safe online, please do get in touch with your child’s class teacher or myself as the Designated Safeguarding Person.
Please click on the link below to access the UK Safer Internet Centre website