The online world is ever changing, making it a challenge for you, as parents, to keep up to speed with the online and digital developments that your child will encounter.
The following policies and advice support our work in this area.
Home Use of the Internet: Guidance for Parents and Carers
(With thanks to Corsham Regis School)
To help keep your child safe on the internet, and teach them how to protect themselves, we recommend that you:
- Ensure children access the internet in a communal room.
- Ensure appropriate supervision for the age of your child, including supervising all use of the internet by younger users.
- Set appropriate rules for using ICT and the internet safely at home.
- Inform us if you have any concerns that the school could help address through teaching.
- Ask your child about the sites they are visiting.
- Ensure family computers are password protected and have robust anti-virus software that is regularly updated.
- Ensure content is appropriately filtered for younger users.
- Ensure that your child knows that any protection system does not stop all unsafe content and that they need to tell you if they access something inappropriate or get an upsetting message.
- Reassure your child that if they talk to you about a problem they are having on the internet, you will not ban them from using it as this will discourage them from telling you.
- Ensure that your child knows not to leave computers logged on with their username or logged on to sites with personal details entered as others could use them.
In order to support those parents/carers who may be less familiar with the internet, we have listed a variety of additional measures you could take at home to support your child’s safe use of the internet.
- Discuss usernames with children and talk about how to choose them carefully to protect their identity.
- Talk to young people about the information they should keep private in order to prevent them being contacted or traced, including full name, address, telephone number, and places they visit regularly.
- Talk to young people about being careful who they add as friends and the need to limit access to their own information by using the safety and privacy features of sites to only give access to people they know.
- Model safe behaviour in your use of ICT.
- Discuss the need to be polite and friendly, not use bad language, and not post comments that might upset others online.
- Discuss the fact that messages can be intercepted and forwarded on to anyone, including parents or the head teacher.
- Remind your child that people they talk to online may not be who they seem.
- Recognise that there is a difference between online friends who you will never meet and real-world friends. Talk to your child about their online friends.
- Ensure that young people know they should not open messages if the subject field contains anything offensive or if they do not recognise who it is from, and that the safest thing to do is delete it without opening it
Research and Fun:
- Talk to your child about the fact that any information published on the web can be read by anyone and that they should only publish information they would be happy for anyone to read.
- Check information that younger users are publishing on the web before it is posted to ensure that they are not putting themselves at risk.
- Check that they are old enough for the sites they are using.
- Ensure your child knows that downloading games and music that is copyrighted without paying for it is illegal.
Buying and Selling:
- Help your child to be able to recognise the difference between websites that are providing information and websites that are selling things.
- Discuss how to recognise commercial uses of the internet, e.g. iTunes, mobile phone downloads, shopping.
- Remind your child that offers that look too good to be true probably are, and that they should not respond to unsolicited online offers.
- Remind your child that they should not purchase or download anything that costs money without asking permission and that they should not use someone else’s identity to buy things online.
- Ensure that your child knows that if they receive an offensive or worrying message/email, they should not reply but should save it and tell you.
If you see anything that upsets you online or makes you feel uncomfortable, you can report it here to protect others through the Internet Watch Foundation.
e-Safety Advice and Websites
The Report Harmful Content Button
The RHC button is an asset of SWGfL, a charity working internationally to ensure all benefit from technology, free from harm.
The button has been developed to offer anyone living in the UK a simple and convenient mechanism for gaining access to reporting routes for commonly used social networking sites, gaming platforms, apps and streaming services alongside trusted online safety advice, help and support. It also provides access to an online mechanism for reporting online harm to the RHC service for those over the age of 13 where an initial report has been made to industry but no action has been taken. RHC will review content in line with a sites' community standards and act in a mediatory capacity where content goes against these.
Children under 13 years of age are encouraged to tell an adult that they trust about what has happened and to ask for their help in reporting this going through our how we can help resource together.
RHC also have advice and links to reporting routes for other online harms people may come across or face, such as impersonation, privacy violations and intimate image abuse.
The RHC button provides a gateway to the RHC reporting pages, an area of the RHC website offering:
- links to reporting routes on commonly used sites for 8 types of online harm
- help, advice and support on what to do if experiencing or witnessing harm online
- signposting to industry partners reporting forms and the ability to report legal but harmful content directly to RHC for further investigation
Reporting to RHC
Reports can be made 24/7 through the online reporting forms and helpline practitioners will review and respond to reports within 72 hours between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday.
Reports can be made to RHC by anyone over the age of 13. SWGfL operates 3 helplines and to be sure you're getting the right support take a look at the Helpline flowchart to find out who can best support you.