The Internet is now an important part of children’s lives, enabling them to undertake research for projects related to the school curriculum, talk to their friends and access information from around the world. Increasing provision of the Internet in and out of schools brings with it the need to ensure that children are safe.
Internet development is advancing all the time into more innovative areas with many websites enabling amazing creativity and interaction between peers. Unfortunately though, there are times when Internet use can have a negative effect on children. Schools and parents need to be aware of the potential dangers and take measures to ensure safe usage by all.
At Lever Park we take several steps to ensure that children are kept safe while using the internet and electronic communication:
- We use targeted filtering to prevent access to websites that are not suitable or may be dangerous.
- Internet access is supervised and we monitor the websites that are accessed.
- Children are also taught how to use the technology safely so that they can keep themselves safe.
Parents can have a difficult job keeping up with their children on the fast changing technology available to them, let alone knowing the dangers they face. The issues of safety, privacy, online predators or grooming and cyber bullying are sometimes complex, both technically and psychologically and parents can struggle to keep up. Below are some links to helpful websites that will offer advice about how to keep your children safe.
We would like remind parents that the minimum age to open an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Skype and Snapchat is 13. Whilst many parents choose to allow younger children to use these services we cannot recommend this. To keep your children safe on social media parents should ensure that the correct privacy settings are enabled, and that appropriate adult supervision is provided while using online services.
Many children spend a lot of time watching vloggers (Video Log) such as Zoella. (Zoella can have over 3 million hits on her uploads!)
Some children chose to emulate these Vloggers, and in doing so without careful thought can leave themselves open to bullying or online grooming by revealing personal details and making videos and comments available to anyone.
This is not illegal but the minimum age to create a Youtube account is 13. Having an account for a younger child breaks the terms and conditions of the site. It is not possible to upload videos without creating an account.
Children can use the alternative Kids Youtube for younger ages: https://kids.youtube.com/
Games offer a wide range of experiences to suit all tastes and abilities. Some of these focus on entertainment, but others also include educational, cultural, social and skills benefits.
By finding the right games for your family, you can discover experiences that take you to new worlds, encourage fresh creativity and get the whole family playing together. From educational benefits, to collaboration and teamwork skills there are a wide range of benefits that video games offer families.
All of these websites provide advice on all of the online safety issues covered and gives parents valuable advice about gaming, social media, youtube and browsing the internet.