This page has been created to support the Online Safety for Parents Presentation delivered in schools across the UK. If you attended our presentation and found it useful, please forward our details to other schools. Thank you.
Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
It can seem difficult to keep up-to-date with the technology that children use. Children’s top concerns are pornography and violence that can be found on video sharing sites, the web, social networks and games. They are also concerned about online advertising, time spent online, inappropriate contacts and bullying.
Most importantly talk to your children about the consequences of online activities
How do young people report concerns?
If you or your child feel in danger right now call 999. You can report to CEOP if something has happened online which has made you feel unsafe, scared or worried. CEOP works to keep children safe from sexual abuse and sexual grooming online. Report abuse or concerns to CEOP here. If your child is being bullied online, or they want to speak to someone right now, contact Childline here.
Advice from the UK Chief Medical Officer on screen and social media use published in 2019. Click the image to download.
Bullying – What to do
Thank them for talking, try not to get upset, stay calm, reassure your child that you will help sort it out
Don’t take over, ask them what they want to do, discuss options and make sure they are happy what will happen next
If it is happening at school, talk to their teacher about monitoring, reporting and a lunchtime club they can join
Ask your child if there is a member of staff they can talk to.
Encourage your child not to react as if their being bullied. Tell them to remove themselves from the situation and report any bullying to an adult.
Monitor your children and check in with the teacher. Try to stay positive
Focus on the child’s strengths. Do activities that they enjoy to build confidence and self-esteem
Keep a log of evidence in case you need to take the matter further
Screen time checklist
Have family guidelines – like meal and bed times
Establish a behaviour pattern as early as possible
Set and agree boundaries based on location, days and times
Share – Both your own and their online screen time and experiences
Encourage creativity over watching- drawing, painting, coding, stories, videos
Extend play beyond the screen – dressing up as a character, role play off the device
Talk to your child regularly about what they are doing online and how to stay safe. Let them know they can come to you or another trusted adult if they’re feeling worried or upset by anything they have seen.
Explore your child’s online activities with your child. Understand why they like using them and make sure they know what they can do to keep themselves safe.
Agree your own rules as a family when using sites, apps and games.
Manage your technology and use the settings available to keep your child safe.
More information from the NSPCC Net Aware site including conversation starters to support you when starting these conversations.
How do I set up parental controls?
These controls are designed to help parents and carers manage their child’s online activities; however, they don’t replace the need for adults to support and advise children using the internet. This online tool from Internet Matters helps you to set up a personalised list of the controls used in your home on all your devices. There is also advice on how to use the controls, with videos and step-by-step instructions.
Setting up children’s devices
Set up your child’s device using this checklist from Internet Matters.
Where are the safe search settings?
SafeSearch can help you block inappropriate or explicit images from your Google Search results. The SafeSearch filter isn’t 100% accurate, but it helps you avoid most adult content. Restricted Mode is an opt-in setting available on the computer and mobile site that helps screen out potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or don’t want others in your family to stumble across while enjoying YouTube. You can think of this as a parental control setting for YouTube.
Where can I get guidance on the social media my children may be using?
You don’t need to know the ins and outs of all the apps and sites that are “hot” right now (and if you did, they wouldn’t be trendy anymore). Knowing the basics, what they are, why they’re popular, and what problems can crop up when they’re not used responsibly can make the difference between a positive and a negative experience for your child. The site from Internet Matters below contains links to the parental guidance pages of most of the social media apps. CEOP has also produced useful guides and these are listed below.
Potentially risky sites for Children
Some sites have been identified as potentially risky for children.
Identify the social media sites being used
The NSPCC’s Net Aware site is a great tool for identifying the social media that young people are using.
Know what is on your child’s tablet or phone
Ask how they are using apps, who they are adding, the conversations they are having and who they are talking to
Agree a “contract” to look at their phone and check messages
Show an interest in their digital habits
Talk to them about what they are looking at
Be honest and direct
Make sure they know what to do if something goes wrong
Let them know they can tell you anything. However shocked you are – don’t show it.
Age Appropriate Guidance
The following points may help in identifying actions that are appropriate to children of different ages. 0-5
Put yourself in control
Help them through games
Put yourself in control
Use airplane mode
Talk to siblings
Check if it’s suitable
Have free and frank discussions
Manage their devices
Put yourself in control
Stay safe on the move
Have an agreement
Start discussions about social networking early
Keep private information private
Check age ratings
Keep their information private
Stay safe on the move
Talk about online reputation
Show you trust them
Don’t give in
Online Gaming checklist
Play together in a communal room
Check age (PEGI) ratings
Set up parental controls
Take regular breaks
Check play history
Social Media via Gaming Consoles
There are many games-specific chat rooms and ways to make friends online through consoles and other internet sites. Gaming platforms have their own way of allowing users to communicate. The popular social gaming platforms are Steam, Xbox Live, Playstation Network, Nintendo Network, Twitch and YouTube. Find out more from Internet Matters.
Information for parents and activities for young people
ThinkUKnow CEOP’s ThinkUknow site has information for parents and lots of fun activities for young people.
Teaching Social Media skills
There sites such as Grom Social that are designed for young people and have safeguards in place such as filtering and strict rules against forbidden activities. It can be used to get a feel for the types of actions and activities one can engage in via social media. We suggest you talk to your children about communications basics, including what these types of platforms are good for and why people use them. It is a good idea to get them to work with them to show the ins and outs of social media accounts.
Language and acronyms
McAfee has produced a useful of acronyms like “IDK” that young people use.
Independent computing, ICT and e-safety consultants providing curriculum support to schools
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