What is E-Safety?
E-safety is the safe use of information systems and electronic communications, including the internet, mobile phones and games consoles. It is important that children and young people understand the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
- E-Safety concerns safeguarding children and young people in the digital world.
- E-Safety emphasises learning to understand and use new technologies in a positive way.
- E-Safety is less about restriction and more about education about the risks as well as the benefits so we can feel confident online.
- E-Safety is concerned with supporting children and young people to develop safer online behaviours both in and out of school.
To report to CEOP a serious E-Safety incident click here
Using the Internet safely at home
Whilst many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer filtering systems to help you safeguard your child at home, it remains surprisingly easy for children to access inappropriate material including unsuitable texts, pictures and movies. Unfortunately, whilst rare, there are negative influencers and online groomers who use the internet, social media and online gaming to spread their extreme ideas, which children can be exposed to. Some of these ideas may be considered radical or extreme and when a person starts to support or be involved in them, this is called radicalisation.
Parents are advised to set the security levels within Internet browsers with this in mind. Locating the computer or tablet in a family area, not a bedroom, will enable you to supervise children as they use the Internet. However, don’t deny your child the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of material and games available on the Internet. Instead, set some simple rules for keeping them safe and make sure they understand the importance of these rules.
Simple rules for keeping your child safe
To keep your child safe they should:
- Ask permission before using the Internet
- Only use websites you have chosen together or a child-friendly search engine.
- Only email people they know (why not consider setting up an address book?)
- Ask permission before opening an email sent by someone they don’t know
- Do not use Internet chat rooms
- Do not use their real name when using games on the Internet (create a nickname)
- Never give out a home address, phone or mobile number
- Never tell someone where they go to school
- Never arrange to meet someone they have ‘met’ on the Internet
- Only use a webcam with people they know
- Ask them to tell you immediately if they see anything they are unhappy with.
Using these rules
Go through the rules with your child and pin them up near the computer. It is also a good idea to regularly check the Internet sites your child is visiting e.g. by clicking on History and Favourites. Please reassure your child that you want to keep them safe rather than take Internet access away from them.
We regularly use our PSHE lessons to remind your children about the importance of staying safe online. You can use some of the resources below to continue the conversation.
Recently Ofsted produced a useful ‘Online Safety Webinar’ for parents and schools. The webinar focuses on the work of the Breck Foundation. This foundation is a self-funding charity, raising awareness of playing safe whilst using the internet. It was established following the death of a young boy called Breck who was groomed online.
The webinar lasts for around 1 hour. For parents who are short on time we would recommend that the first 23 minutes are watched, after that Ofsed focus on what schools and inspectors can do to keep children safe.
Things you can do to keep your child safe online:
- check your parental controls on your PC to stop then accessing inappropriate material;
- accessing games on a console or tablet? Here’s how to set parental controls: Ask About Games
- have a conversation, discuss sites and apps together, talk about any concerns they may have;
- talk about personal information and what not to share online;
- is your child accessing social networks? Most of these have an age limit of 13+, check the content and age limits of what they are accessing here: NetAware
- Is your child playing computer games, check the age limit here: Netaware
As well as the Breck Foundation website, the NSPCC website provides further resources and links on how to keep your child safe online. Live My Digital is an educational site aimed at families. The site has links to a video series which covers the following online safety themes:
- The digital footprint
- Identity and self-esteem
- Relationships and grooming
- Security and privacy