As we are sure you are aware, children are very computer literate. They find it very easy to use the latest technologies whether it is the latest mobile phone or the Internet. The modern communications revolution has made it easier to stay in contact with friends and family from all over the world at any time of the day or night.
We manage safe use of technologies that are used in school; all children are routinely asked to sign an acceptable use policy for the use of the Internet in school hours as part of our whole school Internet policy.
However children now use a huge range of devices outside school hours. Technologies include home PC’s, lap-top computers and hand-held computers, mobile phones and even blackberries (if not in your home, it could be at a friends home); all have the possibility of accessing the web from almost any part of the United Kingdom even if the nearest plug or telephone socket is miles away.
Specific technologies that are becoming more commonly used for communication by children outside of schools hours include email, instant messaging, chat rooms, mobile-camera phones, websites/blogs managed by children and social networking sites (such as “Facebook” or “Twitter”). The majority of use of these devices is safe and has the potential to greatly enrich the lives of children. However, you need to be aware that a child’s safety maybe compromised when people, nearly always strangers, of malicious intent use the Internet to make contact with a child.
Holidays can be the perfect time to have a conversation with your child about what they are getting up to online. Please see Conversation Starters under the documents link below.
Try these Childnet conversation starters to get the conversation going. A top tip is to always start on a positive note by discussing what your child enjoys doing online.
If you require further guidance on the technologies discussed and how you can support your child in using them safely we encourage you to visit the link below where you will find easy-to-follow help
To keep your child safe:
Another useful contact is the Local Safeguarding Children's Board www.havering-lscb.org.uk
Below are some useful resources for parents/carers in helping to monitor their child’s activity when using social media applications, and how best to ensure their protection and safety when online.
The following links may also be useful
Please follow this link to the Internet Matters website to find an interactive and comprehensive guide to setting up parental controls on a variety of devices, games and websites.
There is an increase in young people engaging in sexting. Although the peak age for this is 13 to 15 the attached link provides useful information and guidance : sexting.lgfl.net .