As we all get ready to go our separate ways for the summer holidays, many of our pupils will use the internet to keep in touch with their friends. The following information is taken from a blog on the UK Safer Internet Centre site which gives some good advice for ways in which parents and carers can help keep their children safe as they start to spend more time online.
Read the full blog at www.saferinternet.org.uk/blog/staying-safe-online-summer-holidays and have a super safe summer!
Sit down together - The summer holidays are a great chance to sit down with your children and find out about the things they like to do online. The holidays are also a good opportunity to have positive conversations about the internet, so if something ever does upset your child online they would feel more confident in confiding in you.
Social media and staying in touch - During the summer holidays, young people may want to keep in touch with their friends through social networking sites or games. It’s a good time to ask them about what sites they use, and check any age requirements as many social media sites require users to be at least 13 years old. Encourage your children to use the privacy tools on the services they use, so that the content they post is only available to people they know and trust in real life.
Talking about their time online - The holidays are also a good opportunity to talk to your children about their online friendships, the sites they use and encourage best practices online. Although it can sometimes feel like young people are the experts when it comes to different apps and games, it’s important to remember that as an adult you are the expert in keeping them safe. There is also a useful blog called ‘but everyone else is playing it!’ which looks at how to decide what games and apps are suitable for children and young people.
Have a conversation about sharing holiday pictures - Some children may want to share photos and videos online of what they are getting up to in their summer holidays. Talk to them about what types of photos are appropriate to share, and who they are okay to share with.
Make a family agreement - A family agreement is a great way to start a conversation with your whole family about how you all use the internet and discuss together how to behave in a positive way when online at home, at school or at a friend’s house. The agreement involves generating promises, these are positive statements about how your family want to look after each other online and how you should treat others online. The summer can be one of the best times to sit down as a family and agree these promises together.