How To Make Sure Your Kids Are Safe Online
Making sure your children are staying safe online. Mobile phones are more prevalent these days, even amongst primary school children. Smart phones tend to be the most prominent type of phone, all of which have access to the internet.
The internet itself is a wonderful thing, that’s how we’re talking and connecting these days with friends, schools, work and everything else! It’s also a great tool that really helps in day to day life, imagine life without Amazon or Ebay? However, despite the fact the internet is mostly a safe space It’s important to be aware of the fact that there are of course risks involved. These risks range from physical danger to a compromise of personal details and even financial information.
It’s important to remember that your kids are safe if you take the necessary steps to ensure that they are online in a safe manner. Most of these steps are straightforward and can be directly implemented by you; their parent.
First off, let’s discuss which sites your children shouldn’t be allowed on anyway! Most sites have terms of service agreement, meaning that if your child is on their site – and is under the age of their agreement then technically they are breaching contract and thus will be deleted from the site. Of course, many children lie to use sites so make sure your child isn’t where they shouldn’t be.
Facebook – Ages 13 and above
Instagram – Ages 13 and above
Tumblr – Ages 13 and above
Snapchat – Ages 13 and above
Pinterest – Ages 13 and above
Twitter – Ages 13 and above
WhatsApp – Ages 16 and above
YouTube – Ages 18 and above (unless a parent signs, in which case it’s 13 and above)
Kik – Ages 18 and above.
These are not just our opinion but actually the terms of service for the website. This is a deliberate policy to protect your children so please heed the advice, don’t allow them to fake their age online just to have access to social media. These rules are there to protect your child. This of course means that none of our pupils should be on any of these sites!
Privacy settings are the single most important aspect of Social Media, this applies to you as parents. Some parents love to share pictures of their kids with their friends and families online. This is absolutely okay but please remember that you wouldn’t share these things with people who weren’t close friends. When you broadcast these images or the information about where your child attends school along with their names publicly or to people on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram who you don’t know well then you are risking your child’s safety. So be responsible and either keep your Facebook friend list to a minimum; a circle of only close friends and family or alternatively ensure your profile has a strong privacy setting to ensure that your uploads and posts are not publicly shared.
It’s also worth not specifying the name of your child, their location or what school they attend as all of this information makes them susceptible to harm.
Here at Ermine we’re always ahead of the curve. Being digitally aware and encouraging our parents, teachers and pupils to make sure they staying safe online. Take a look at this great playlist of E-safety videos that we made last year explaining some common platforms.
Keeping children safe is important. All parents and teachers have to be aware that the threats to children are not simply the most obvious. Your child’s image, their details and other things that you post publicly risk them not only physically but also risks their entire identity. In the past, criminals across the world have stolen identities of children and infants and used them to commit crimes such as fraud or to bribe and intimidate parents and families of victims.
Your children have their own personal duty of care to staying safe online. We encourage this constantly at Ermine Primary Academy and our E-Safety squad made up of students is great. But you as parents have an obligation in this digital and open world to ensure that the information you share about your children is kept only to those who you definitely trust. By making sure the key identifiers such as their age, full name, address and even your own identity are not shared publicly you can ensure this. Staying safe online is a collaborative effort and it all begins with you, the parent.
Thank you for reading and get in touch if you have any questions.