E-safety for Parents
Keeping Safe Online
"With technology advancing at a rate faster than most of us can cope, and with the added pressure of children nowadays being at the forefront of exposure to this advanced technological age with regard to the internet, mobile phones, laptops, computers and tablet devices, we believe that e-safety awareness and safe practice is of paramount importance.
While prevention is sometimes better than the cure as it is so often said, we understand and appreciate the need for children to learn of and embrace these technologies and as a result we equally understand the need to teach them to use it responsibly, ethically, wisely and to guide them on how to best prepare themselves to stay safe while online.
Of course, as with all things in life, the good always seems to be accompanied by the bad, and we therefore feel it is so important to help prepare children by showing them the options available to them if should they experience something they feel uncomfortable with while online in this digital age.
Please see below the links to our e-safety policy, safeguarding team and the page linking you to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
Feel free to visit these pages; they are rich in content with useful guidelines and other extremely important general and legal information and procedures all parents and pupils should be aware of."
Useful Links to help you support your children's 'Safe Internet Use'
Below is a link to information regarding Snap Chat's latest feature which enables users to share the location of their latest Snap with others. If children are using the service as explained in the link, they need to ensure they are not broadcasting their location accidently to all users of the service.
For more information about Snap Chat:
For specific information about this feature:
Online Safety Links
Child Internet Safety Empowering parents protecting children (NEW)
Safer Internet (NEW)
Also, please take the time to visit the children's page on E-Safety to see the support offered to them.
Cybersense is an app that has just been released, which can be used to help discuss and understand online safety with your child, see the link for more information: Cybersense
Please respect people’s privacy when using any social network sites. If you are concerned about any aspect of school life, as a matter of respect and courtesy, please talk to the school before posting anything online.
Important Organisations and Reporting a Problem
If you have any concerns about e-Safety then please do not hesitate to come in and speak to a member of our Safeguarding Team.
CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre): www.ceop.police.uk
- The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) delivers a multi-agency service dedicated to tackling the abuse and exploitation of children in the 'real world' and the 'e-world';
- ClickCEOP is accessible on Facebook - it launched in July 2010. By adding ClickCEOP to your Facebook account, young people and parents can get support on a range of issues such as viruses, hacking and dealing with bullying online. They can also report someone who is acting inappropriately: www.facebook.com/clickceop
New resources are available from the NSPCC website that cover a variety of different areas and provide detailed support on how to talk to your child about their internet use as well as most importantly keep them safe.
They are available from: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/share-aware/
Think U Know website: www.thinkuknow.co.uk
- The Think U Know website is divided into 5 areas:
- 8-10 Cyber-Cafe (Key Stage 2 Resources)
- 11-16 (Key Stage 3 and 4 Resources)
- Parents/Carers (Free resources and monthly emails for parents/carers)
There is also a suite of resources to support children with SEN including children with mild to severe learning difficulties, are blind or have a hearing impairment.
- CEOP works as part of the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) which is made up of law enforcement agencies from around the world such as Australia, Canada, Italy, America, etc;
- Any reports of abuse made via CEOP's, or the VGT's, 'Report Abuse' button can be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from around the globe. The report abuse button can be used to report inapporpriate or potentally illegal activity towards a child. It can be found on many websites;
- If a child is in immediate danger, contact 999 for police assistance.
Talking Angela (Talking Animals)
We have become aware of a warning spreading across Facebook, telling parents of young children to watch out for a rogue iPhone/iPad app called ‘Talking Angela’ (Talking Animals series) that (the warning claims) steals children's names, details of where they go to school, and even takes secret pictures of their faces. To the best of our knowledge these claims are false and ‘Talking Angela’ appears to be entirely benign, there are no obvious privacy concerns that differentiate it from thousands of other iPhone apps. The app appears to have both a ‘child’ and an ‘adult’ mode; when set on child mode, ‘Talking Angela’ simply repeats everything said and isn’t capable of asking or answering questions. In adult mode, the app reverted to text only and is able to ask and answer simple questions on predetermined topics. This is achieved via a computer programme which is designed to simulate an intelligent human brain, with the purpose of entertaining adults.
There are other features parents should be aware of:
- Child mode is easily turned off.
- The app connects to YouTube via links to promotional videos by Talking Angela's manufacturer, Outfit7. The promo videos themselves are child-safe, but once on YouTube a child could continue browsing and be exposed to videos and user comments that aren't so safe.
- There are in-app advertisements which, if clicked, take the user to an app store external to the game.
- Talking Angela allows in-app purchases using virtual coins, a certain number of which come free with the game but more of which must be bought from an app store -- linked to within the game -- using real money.
To summarise, as discussed during our recent e-safety information sessions, it is always worth parents/carers being aware of what the apps their children are using are capable of. Ideally, this would entail reading the documentation, downloading the app, trying it out, and familiarising oneself with all of its features before handing it over to the kids. At this point, you would be able to make an educated judgement of the suitability of the app for your child and, if deemed appropriate you would be able to support your child in their safe use of app.
Following recent enquiries from schools and settings regarding safety concerns about the 'Pokémon Go' app, the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer have collated a list of useful links for schools and settings to share with parents/carers. These links explore the Pokémon Go app in more depth and provide practical advice for parents/carers on how to keep children safe when playing.
Pokémon Go is a game where users can collect and trade creatures called Pokémon (Pocket Monsters). It uses 'augmented reality' (AR) to make it look like Pokémon have appeared in real life places by using the GPS and cameras on phones/devices. In the game players can collect Pokémon by walking around their local community to capture them as they appear. They can also visit 'PokeStops' to collect new items and visit 'gyms' to train their Pokémon and compete. PokeStops and Gyms are located in public places.
There are a range of risks for Pokémon Go players which have been featured in the global media which includes physical safety concerns (people walking into secluded, dangerous or busy areas), stranger danger (users may feel encouraged to speak to and meet strangers when collecting Pokémon), in-app purchasing (using real money to buy virtual goods), privacy risks (access to personal data), age restrictions (users under 13 require parental consent), data use implications (the game uses mobile data to access maps) and the impact on battery life (the game can quickly drain battery which could mean users are unable to use their device).
It is however important to be aware that the potential risks identified are not new risks to children (or indeed adults who may play the game) either online or in the "real" world so in most cases the response will be to ensure that players understand how to keep safe and for parents/carers to ensure that appropriate support and supervision is in place for children when using the app.
If parents/carers are engaged with their children’s internet use then the potential risks can be minimised and managed appropriately through regular discussions and appropriate supervision. Pokémon Go can provide a useful way for parents (and indeed schools) to explore important on and offline safety messages and reinforce safe behaviours. Some schools have reported using Pokémon Go as a great way to explore on and offline safety by discussing risks highlighted in the media and working with children to produce posters, leaflets and videos to help others keep safe.
As long as appropriate safety steps are taken, Pokémon Go could be viewed as an opportunity to engage in a fun family activity which encourages children and parents to go out together and be active and explore their communities in new and engaging ways.
The following links may be helpful for schools and settings to share with their parents to help families ensure that Pokémon Go is kept fun and safe.
If you are concerned about PokeStops and/or gyms located in unsafe places then they can be reported here