Listed below are some key resources for parents / carers related to online safety and well-being. They tie in with the awareness raising sessions that we run annually.
Guidance from expert institutions:
- Guidance from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Tips for managing screen time from Internet Matters.org – internet_matters_screen_time_guide.pdf
- The Family Internet Safety Plan from Safer Internet Day 2019 – sid2019_parents_and_carers_-_internet_safety_plan.pdf
Resources for managing device screen time:
- Apple Screen Time (from iOS 12)
- Google Family Link (Android/Chrome devices)
- InternetMatters.org for Windows platforms
- Mac OS
- Information and advice from ThinkuKnow (educational section of CEOP)
- Livestreaming – a current significant area of concern.
- NSPCC online safety home page
- NSPCC guidance on talking to your child about staying safe online
- NSPCC guidance on “sexting” or sending “nude selfies”
- NSPCC guidance on recognising the signs of abuse
- ⚠️ REPORT CONCERNS TO CEOP (The Child Exploitation Online Protection command of the National Crime Agency)
How Appropriate Different Apps, Games and Other Media are for Children
Unfortunately the NSPCC Net Aware site (which provided minimum age recommendations for apps, ratings by children and young people, and indicated what the level of risk is that a child will encounter a range of inappropriate material) closed at the end of November 2021.
In its place, parents and carers might refer to the Common Sense Media site, and in particular its app reviews. Common Sense Media are a US based organisation. Their site isn’t quite as effective at rating the level of risk, but does a good job of describing each app (often in a video) and what children might encounter whilst using it.
Common Sense Media, also review movies and TV shows, and make recommendations based on how positive the messages that they convey are and impact they can have.
- ⚠️ Make a report to the IWF (the Internet Watch Foundation) – report indecent or illegal imagery in order that the IWF can co-ordinate it’s removal by one of the companies which co-operate with them (such as Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Cisco, etc.).
Parental Controls resources – filter what your child can access via the Internet:
- InternetMatters.org step by step guides for setting up parental controls on a range of platforms
- Safer Internet Centre guides to setting up parent controls on different platforms.
Safe and Appropriate Sharing Tips for Parents / Carers
- Suggestions for parents about how they can share information about their children’s lives safely online – sharenting-kids-milestone-moments-safely.pdf
- The NSPCC provides guidance on what Cyber-bullying is and how to deal with it.
- Childline also provides guidance, and provides information targeted at those who have been cyber-bullying someone else, and at friends of victims to help them understand how they can be supportive.
- Children should know that they should record evidence of cyber-bullying if possible, by taking screenshots and not deleting unkind messages.
- They should also not respond to unkind messages online, but rather block or unfriend perpetrators, and talk to a trusted adult about what is going on.
- Children who witness cyber-bullying are encouraged to be “upstanders” and encourage victims to speak to a trusted adult, or to do so on their behalf. They can be a good friend, by being kind and finding things to do together offline.
- Children who limit the time they spend online, and find interests or hobbies that become a source of self esteem will tend to be more resilient and have less of a desire for affirmation from their online accounts.
Children should be familiar with the Childline.org.uk website as a source of support for any situation that they feel they cannot manage alone, should they ever feel that a trusted adult is not available to them.
They can either call 0800 1111, or chat online via the Childline website.
We encourage parents/carers with questions or concerns to speak to one of the online safety officers (Mr. A Ross, Miss C Davis).