Christ’s College provides a safe environment for students to browse and study using the internet. Strict controls are in place to offer freedom to work and explore, but prevent access to potentially harmful or inappropriate material. This protects students at the school, but many parents may be concerned this safety is not always guaranteed on personal devices or in areas not regulated in a similar manner.
The internet provides many benefits and can be an invaluable resource to enhance learning, aid revision and support homework. We are pleased to offer this facility, with confidence all students will enjoy their online experience, and would like to help parents gain similar confidence in protecting their child’s safety when using the internet and other mobile devices. There are many resources available to help protect children in the online world and we have taken a selection of the best resources for you to read at your convenience. Should you have any concerns regarding your child’s online activity our Pastoral Team will be happy to discuss any issues or offer advice in strict confidence.
The following Top Tips are taken from the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) ‘Thinkuknow’ website, as a quick guide to protecting your child online. You can read further information and watch guidance videos using the links at the bottom of the page and within the Top Tips.
- Be involved in your child’s online life. For many of today’s young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the Internet to socialise and grow and, just as you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too. Talk to them about what they’re doing, if they know you understand they are more likely to approach you if they need support.
- Watch Thinkuknow films to learn more. The Thinkuknow programme has films and advice for children from five all the way to 16. Your child may have seen these at school, but they can also be a good tool for you to find out more about what young people do online and some of the potential risks.
- Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online. Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
- Set boundaries in the online world just as you would in the real world. Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to continue to discuss boundaries so that they evolve as your child’s use of technology does.
- Know what connects to the Internet and how. Nowadays even the TV connects to the Internet. Your child will use all sorts of devices and gadgets; make sure you’re aware of which ones can connect to the Internet, such as their phone or games console. Also, find out how they are accessing the Internet – is it your connection or a neighbour’s WiFi? This will affect whether your safety settings are being applied.
- Consider the use of parental controls on devices that link to the Internet, such as the TV, laptops, computers, games consoles and mobile phones. Parental controls are not just about locking and blocking, they are a tool to help you set appropriate boundaries as your child grows and develops. They are not the answer to your child’s online safety, but they are a good start and are not as difficult to install as you might think. Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly.
- Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are. Make sure your child knows never to meet up with someone they only know online. People might not always be who they say they are. Make sure your child understands they should never meet up with anyone they only know online without taking a trusted adult with them.
- Know what to do if something goes wrong. Just as in the offline world, you want to help your child when they need it. Therefore, it is important to know when and how to report any problem. What tools are there to help me keep my child safe?
If you have a child who is in, or is due to start primary school, read our primary school advice to find out what you can do to support them.