Statistics constantly remind us what we all know: in most cases children know more about computers and mobile phones than their parents.
Young people are connected to the internet and to each other via mobile phones, instant messaging, blogging, twitter, online gaming and social networking sites. This brings a whole new dimension of creativity and opportunities, but also risks of exposure to pornography, to individuals who may chat to them inappropriately or try to meet them for sexual activity, and to cyberbullying.
Parents, teachers and children need to be internet savvy and understand how to be safe. We hope the following information will help you.
Childnet International has several educational sites:
www.kidsmart.org.uk – information for parents, teachers and young people about the internet
www.chatdanger.com – Answers your questions about chat rooms
www.childnet.com/kia – multimedia resources developed for parents
www.nch.org.uk – Children’s charity website on internet safety
www.thinkuknow.co.uk - The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
Information for parents and children on how to stay safe.
www.kidsandmedia.co.uk – Information and advice
www.getnetwise.org – Information on filtering, especially when ‘searching’
www.covenanteyes.com – Recommended by CARE for accountability software [mainly for adults], also provides a filtering product. Also covers smartphones for those with a Covenant Eyes family account.
However, don’t forget that your children may be able to access the internet at other places other than home – at a friend’s house, library or through their mobile phone.
If you suspect inappropriate internet chat or behaviour is going on, you should discuss it and report to it the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. You can make a report on their website: www.ceop.gov.uk
Young people are increasingly finding themselves bullied by peers via their mobile phone, email, social networking sites and other online systems. If you suspect this is happening, talk to your child; find out as much as possible. Keep any evidence. You should also go and see the head teacher of your child’s school.
For more information on cyberbullying, click here or refer to www.digizen.org.