How safe is your child online?
Your child may have received a new piece of mobile technology over the holiday so this is a good time to remind everyone about how to keep children safe online.
To further support you in ensuring your child is and remains safe on-line, Mr Brown will be holding an e-safety meeting for parents/carers on Monday 23rd January at 9.05. We would very much like you to attend.
Our children are very technologically savvy – they know far more than we do about the latest APPs, online material and which websites to visit. BUT they are children and they do not always make choices that keep them safe. Social media is a growing phenomenon and appeals greatly to children – Face Book, Twitter and new APPS such as Music.ly. Many of these sites have minimum user age limits:
For Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, Snapchat, Music.ly and Secret, the minimum age is 13.
For LinkedIn it is 14. For WhatsApp it’s 16, and on Vine it’s 17. Platforms, such as YouTube, WeChat and Kik, have a minimum age requirement of 18, although children aged 13-17 can sign-up with parent’s permission.
At school, we teach the children how to keep themselves safe on-line. We regularly revisit the topic, but children don’t always follow the advice given and as a result can unwittingly put themselves at risk. This is why it is so important that you know what your child is signing up to, sharing and doing on their mobile technology. There are really good tips for parents and carers readily available on the internet and more recently through national news items. I have captured some of them here:
ü If you don’t already have a Family Media Agreement, it is a good idea to make one
A healthy media diet balances three things: what children do, how much time they spend doing it, and whether their content choices are age-appropriate. Mixing media and tech time with other activities will help families find that happy middle ground.
ü Make sure you know what your child is viewing online - Some songs, clips and audio pieces have curse words or inappropriate content. Make a rule that your child may not choose these types of sites, songs or videos.
ü You should always know your child’s user name and password for each account, and the minute you check and it’s been changed, the account should be closed and the device confiscated. (Think: You’re in charge. You pay the bills.)
ü Make sure that the account is private. (Think: Do you really want anyone to have access to your child’s videos? And it’s not just viewing the videos; anyone can comment on public videos. Sometimes the comments can be very unkind.)
ü Make sure that the location service is off for the account. (Think: No one needs to know where you child is–ever.)
ü Make sure that your child knows all of his or her followers. (Think: Followers have access to your child’s videos, messages etc. Followers can see and comment on your child’s uploads.)
ü Make sure that your child follows only accounts that you deem appropriate. (Think: This may be difficult to determine, but you can get a sense of each person by watching a handful of videos or reading their uploads.)
ü Make sure that your child knows that you, as the parent, may at any time, check his or her account. That should go for texts and emails and any other social media platform that your child uses, video games included. (Think: You pay the bills. When we were our children’s ages, we had to have all phone conversations in the middle of the house on a phone attached to the wall. At least I did. . . )
ü Make sure that your child understands that his or her worth is not and cannot be dictated by the number of likes or followers he or she has.
There is so much information available to children and parents about on-line safety. To further support you in ensuring your child is and remains safe on-line, Mr Brown will be holding an e-safety meeting for parents/carers on Monday 23rd January at 9.05. We would very much like you to attend.