Being Safe Online
New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in today’s society, both within schools and in their lives outside school. The internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. Electronic communication helps teachers and pupils learn from each other. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Children and young people should have an entitlement to safe internet access at all times.
None of us – of whatever age – is immune from encountering problems online
Some of these potential issues are as follows:
- Inappropriate contact: from people who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them.
- Inappropriate conduct: because of their own and others’ online behaviour, such as the personal information they make public, for example on social networking sites. Unfortunately, children can also become cyberbullies, especially when encouraged by others.
- Inappropriate content: being able to access or being sexually explicit, racist, violent, extremist or other harmful material, either through choice or in error.
- Commercialism: being the targets of aggressive advertising and marketing messages.
- Gaining access to your personal information stored on your computer, mobile device or games console, and passing it on to others … or using your financial details such as payment card information.
- Enabling viruses and spyware by careless or misinformed use of their or your computer, smartphone, tablet or games console.
As with all other risks, it is impossible to eliminate those risks completely. It is therefore essential, through good educational provision to build pupils’ resilience to the risks to which they may be exposed, so that they have the confidence and skills to face and deal with these risks.
STAYING SAFE ONLINE
- Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number.
- Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you’ve put a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it, it’s not just yours anymore.
- Keep your privacy settings as high as possible
- Never give out your passwords
- Don’t befriend people you don’t know
- Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online. Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do
- Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are
- Think carefully about what you say before you post something online
- Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude
- If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately.
Sharing pictures and videos can be a great way of telling your story but always think before you share. Want to post that funny photo? Ask yourself these 5 questions first:
Have I got permission?
If you’ve taken a picture or video of your friends or family have you got their permission to post it online? Could it upset or embarrass them? If you were them, would you want it shared? If you think the answer might be no, then go and ask them or don’t post it at all.
Would I put it on a billboard?
Would you be happy for the picture to be put on a billboard so anyone – including your mum, dad or your teacher – could see it? If the answer’s no, then don’t post it.
Who am I sharing with?
Are you sending it to a friend, someone you met online or posting it for everyone to see? Remember, if you’ve only met someone online they might not be who they say they are. They could copy, edit or share your picture with anyone.
What do I look like?
Photos and videos are a great way of sharing what you’re up to with your friends but, remember, anything you post online could be there forever. We all do silly things sometimes but if we capture them on camera they can affect the way people think about us in the future. If you’re not sure they paint a positive picture of you (or your friends!) then think twice before posting.
Is it legal?
Taking and sharing naked or inappropriate videos of people under 18 is illegal, even if you’re taking them of yourself. The law is there to protect you. It is also illegal to share these images/videos
WHO CAN HELP?
We have provided a selection of links to websites that support e-safety and provide advice and guidance to support both young people and adults.
LOST CONTROL OF A PICTURE OR VIDEO?
It’s easy to share more than you meant to but remember it’s never too late to take control. 5 ways to take control:
Take the picture or video down
Sounds obvious but if you posted it to a website the fastest way to get it down is to remove it yourself. Log on to the site and delete it.
Ask others to delete it
If someone else has posted it, ask them to take it down from the site. If they won’t do it, speak to an adult you trust or someone in school – your school should have rules about what pupils can post online.
Report it to the website
If it’s been posted on a popular website like Facebook or YouTube you can make a report to the site to ask them to take it down. Most sites have rules to stop people posting embarrassing or hurtful pictures – if the picture or video breaks these rules they should delete it from the site.
Get help if you’re being bullied
If people are being mean about a picture or sharing a video to embarrass you, talk to an adult you trust. You can post messages and get advice on Childline's Message boards or if you want to speak to someone confidentially you can call Childline on 0800 1111.
Report if you’re being threatened
If someone’s threatening to share a picture or video of you that you don’t want other people to see, talk to an adult you trust or report to CEOP. Whatever may have happened CEOP will understand. You won’t be in trouble.
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD'S ONLINE WORLD?
While you're probably super internet savvy, sometimes a child's online world can feel like a parallel universe.
To get to grips with it you don't need to be a Snapchat native or a Minecraft champion. But it does help if you understand the basics of how their favourite apps and games work.
Take the quiz to find out how much you know click here.
Once you've got your score, you'll get advice from the NSPCC and O2 experts to take your online safety knowledge to the next level.
For more information about sexting please click here.