23 Jul Online Safety Update
Many children have spent much more time on devices than ever before during lockdown, so as we approach the summer holidays, here is some information about staying safe online and principles you can help us remind your children about. Please don’t worry too much about screen time – think instead about screen quality, balance and mental health. The Children’s Commissioner has provided a framework called the ‘Digital Five a Day’ with five things to think about each day to help put that into practice.
Staying safe on apps, sites and games
It is really important children get the opportunity to chat to friends and many of our children have continued to connect with friends online during lockdown. We are sure that this will continue over the summer, so please help us reinforce some key messages about appropriate behaviour to keep everyone safe and happy.
Remind your child to look out for their friends online, not to say anything that they wouldn’t like to hear themselves, and always stop or stand up for others if someone gets upset.
Please remind your children never to share scary or rude images, even to complain about them. If they do see something that worries them or that might be wrong, all they need to do is ask for help from a trusted adult. They could talk to you or to us, or they may feel more comfortable talking anonymously to Childline. If you or they are concerned about an adult’s behaviour towards a child online, report them to CEOP. And as a parent, you can also contact the NSPCC – O2 advice line on 0808 800 5002.
Finally, this may sound like more relevant to older children, but the very youngest children need reminding not to get undressed or changed online. There’s a fun song to get this message across at undressed.lgfl.net (plus background information for you).
To help you make informed decisions on what games to play at home, https://www.taminggaming.com/home provides jargon-free overviews, official game ratings, information on in-game spending and at the bottom of each game page, it suggests alternative games of different age ratings.
The database is supported by the ‘Get Smart About PLAY’ campaign, which provides parents, carers and guardians with the information they need to get the most out of the games they play. For more on guiding children to healthy gaming, and advice on family settings, visit AskAboutGames.com.
SafeToNet – free online safety app for 1 million parents
SafeToNet have developed a world-leading cyber-safety app which they are giving away, free for life, to 1 million parents and carers that download the app before 1st Aug 2020. Due to Government guidance in relation to helping to keep children safe online during the COVID-19 crisis, SafeToNet is providing its app free for life to the UK’s families.
To qualify parents and carers must register their details via the SafeToNet web site (here) by the 1st August 2020 and must have downloaded the app before midnight on 30th August. A short video that explains how the SafeToNet app works can be found at safetonet.com/by-design. Below is a summary of the benefits of the app, recognised by DFE, DCMS and the Home Office:
Keeps them safer online whilst respecting their privacy
Parents never see what their child is typing
The keyboard blocks harmful outgoing messages before the damage is done
Gives real-time advice and guidance on cyber-safety topics • Provides breathing exercises when signs of anxiety and fear have been detected
Audio practices assist with issues of low-self-esteem, bullying, anxiety and more
Emotion diary helps children to articulate and analyse their feelings
Provides powerful insights into a child’s digital world without snooping or spying
Shows the typical moments in a day with the high-risk messages are sent
Provides a dynamic safety indicator that shows a child’s proximity to risk
A list of the top 5 apps in use by their child where levels of safety can be improved
Allows real-time diagnosis of online issues as they arise
Further information about SafeToNet can be found here.
Thank you for your continued support