COVID-19 Internet Safety Advice
As we are all spending more time at home during this period of lock down, it is inevitable that we will all be spending more time on our computers, electronic devices and screens. Whilst there are many positive aspects to the time we are spending online the increased screen time can also put your child more at risk of:
- Online bullying
- Abuse and grooming
- seeing inappropriate content
- not getting enough sleep or exercise.
It is important to understand the surge in use of virtual meeting apps that are being used and observe e-safety rules even more closely than usual. There have been a number of reports of hacking and uninvited guests joining 'Zoom' meetings and 'House Party' Chats in recent days, some of which are being interrupted with indecent materials and concerns have been raised over the encryption safety of some of these apps.
10 easy steps to protect your family and your child
- Set parent controls on devices and check all your permission settings
- Make sure your child is doing school work when they should be
- Talk to your child about staying safe online - you can also access e-safety resources to help with this on Education City, Purple Mash and Espresso Discovery.
- Agree rules on screen time
- Encourage daily non-screen activities
- Do not allow your child to access online streaming apps in their bedroom or when you are not present
- Work in the same room as your child when they are online
- Check their mobile devices regularly
- Remind them of the NSPCC safety rules and who they can talk to if they are worried.
- Look at the pupils' e-safety links on the school website together
I have also added some links to the latest parent information on 'Zoom' and 'House Party' apps below. There is lots more information available for parents by clicking on the National Online Safety website link below.
As ever, if you have any safeguarding concerns for any child, our school Designated Safeguarding Leads are Mrs Reid, Mrs Tyzack and Mrs Sparks and you can contact us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mark your email 'Urgent Safeguarding Request' and one of us will contact you as soon as possible. For confidentiality reasons, please do not provide any details of your concern in the email.
Other useful websites are provided in the links below.
At Frieth, we take e-safety very seriously and aim to ensure our pupils know how to enjoy the latest technologies and internet games safely. This is particularly important in the changing world of gaming, where pupils often play collaboratively and link up to chat rooms and group activities on games such as 'Minecraft' and 'Fortnite' or by using APPS such as 'Discord'.
In school our pupils cover e-safety as a regular part of the computing curriculum, using the materials available from CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre). There is information and a link to CEOP resources for children on the pupil pages.
In the past we have also hosted some E-safety workshops run by a representative from Buckinghamshire County Council. These included a KS2 pupil assembly, a KS1 pupil assembly, staff training and Parent and Governor training. The information given during these sessions was invaluable in supporting our dedication to keeping our pupils safe online.
To provide further information for parents, we have attached our e-safety and acceptable use policy and our mobile phone policy below. In addition we have attached some PDF documents which give information on cyber-bullying, online grooming, inappropriate websites and a Parents & Carers Checklist for keeping children safe online. finally, we have also attached a parent information document from the local authority which provides links for additional support and information.
We have also signed up to ParentInfo, a new service for parents that has been launched by CEOP. Their website has a number of articles and live feeds which provide excellent up-to-the-minute advice and information. The ParentInfo button below will link you to their home page.
Limiting Screen Time
There are lots of studies which demonstrate the negative impact too much screen time has on children and there have long been recommendations for limiting the amount of time children spend looking at screens. We understand that limiting screen time for children can be difficult and there are times when our children get so absorbed in what they are doing on a computer or tablet, that they lose track of time.
There are apps available to limit screentime and we have attached a couple of website links below which look at different apps that are available should you wish to research this further.
Snapchat Update 2017