The internet is more crucial to a child’s school life now than ever before. But with the added amount of time being spent online so come the risks.
Alongside school, children are of course using social media and video calling to keep in touch with friends and family. So it is more important than ever that parents and carers know how to keep their children safe while online.
Here are a few pointers you can share with children;
Think before you post - when posting or commenting on the internet get them to think about what they are saying and what effect this may have. They never know who will see the post and find their social media profile as a result.
Keep personal information personal - do not say anything or publish pictures that might later cause them or someone else embarrassment. Be aware of what their friends post about them, or reply to their posts, particularly about their personal details and activities.
Make the most of privacy settings – they should keep their social media profiles closed, allowing access only to their chosen friends and family.
Report cyberbullying to internet service providers - lots of content on social media that is offensive or upsetting, is not necessarily a criminal offence. Cyberbullying often violates the terms of and conditions established by social media sites and internet service providers. Report cyberbullying to the social media site so they can take action against users abusing the terms of service. Social media help sections can show you how to block users and change settings to control who can contact you.
Catherine Driscoll, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Children First, said: “With the country on lockdown, unable to go out and see our friends and family, social media and the internet in general has become a bigger part of our lives. Not just for staying in touch with those we can’t see but for education and home-schooling.
“With all of us spending more time than we usually would online it is vitally important we know, and can teach our children, how to stay safe online. That is why we are working hard to share with you the most recent and up to date advice and guidance on how you can do that.
“We want everyone to stay safe while online and continue to enjoy the benefits, both social and educational, the internet can bring us in these unusual times.”
If you are worried about your child on social media you can refer to that site’s help section to find more information. Below are the most common social media channels help pages your child could be using:
For further information and a list of useful links detailing ways of keeping your children safe while online visit our stay safe online pages of the Council website.
For information on keeping children and young people safe from all forms of exploitation, and support services available you can visit our Get Safe website.