The Internet and online technologies are an important part of children’s lives at home and school, providing great opportunities for learning, communicating, playing and creating. As we know, these technologies can be helpful but for parents and students can sometimes be overwhelming and you can feel unsure how to stay safe online.
Here at MEA we deliver both an ICT curriculum, to Years 7 & 8, and a Fantastic Futures curriculum, to all years. Students learn how to stay safe online and how to communicate with each another.
In addition, the academy employs a multi-layered internet filtering system to ensure that where possible students is prevented from coming in to contact with unsuitable content.
As a parent or student you may wish to think about staying safe online as four different aspects.
- Conduct – young people need to be aware of the impact their online behaviour can have on themselves and others.
- Content – young people need to understand how to avoid or report online content that may be hurtful or harmful.
- Contact – not everyone is truthful online and young people need to learn the importance of setting and reviewing privacy settings.
- Commercialism – young people need to learn how to block pop-ups and spam, and turn off in-app purchasing to make sure their online enjoyment is not spoiled.
How you can increase E-Safety at home:
- Talk to your child about their use of ICT and online safety, especially password security https://www.google.co.uk/safetycenter/everyone/start/password/
- Reassure them that they can always talk to you if they feel uncomfortable or access anything that is inappropriate
- Make your child knows the importance of privacy settings and knows how to block or report things that concern them
- Move access to computers and the Internet where it can be monitored, such as the living room.
- Read the features of your child’s mobile phone, for example many providers have their own filtering systems.
Below are some great websites to help students and parents get the most out of your technology, use the internet responsibly and to keep you and those you care about safe on the internet.
ThinkUKnow/Parents – help and advice from the National Crime Agency. This site deals with information about sexual abuse and exploitation of young people and offers advice, explains what to do if you are concerned and explains how to report concerns to CEOP Command (formerly Child Exploitation and Online Protection) https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/
ThinkUKnow/Social Media – how to report concerns to most of the major social media networks including Instagram, You Tube and Ask.fm https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/11_13/help/Contact-social-sites/
Kidscape Cyberbullying – help and advice if your child has been bullied through social media, phones or other technologies https://www.kidscape.org.uk/advice/advice-for-parents-and-carers/
Google Safety Centre – A useful guide for parents with help about some of the online tools you can use to keep your family safe online including secure passwords, https://www.google.co.uk/safetycenter/families/start/basics/
PhoneBrain – a site with good advice about teens and mobile phones plus links to advice centres for many of the UK major phone networks http://www.phonebrain.org.uk/parents/what-you-can-do/
Internet Matters – a site with some great videos that you can watch together with your child
Digital Resilience Toolkit – practical tips for parents of 11-13 year olds. Help your child adjust to the new challenges they may face at this age, such as getting their own smartphone or joining a social network for the first time. See the guide for essential things you can do to support them.
If you have a cause for concern about a child's welfare, speak to a designated member of the child protection team at the Academy on 0161 499 2726.