Zip it, Block it, Flag it
Keep your personal stuff Block people who send nasty Flag up with someone you trust
private and think about what messages and don't open if anything upsets you or if
you say and do online unknown links and attachments someone asks to meet you offline.
Make sure your child knows to always keep private information safe and watch what they say on the internet. People may not be who they say they are online and it’s not always possible to control who can see your child’s information.
Your child should know not to give out information like:
- their full name
- postal or email addresses
- school information
- mobile or home telephone numbers
- details of places they like to spend time
Make sure your child knows that they shouldn’t arrange to meet people that they have only met online. Even if they have been chatting with someone for a while, that person is still a stranger.
You can help keep your child’s information safe by setting privacy settings. This can restrict access to personal information and photos on things like social networking sites.
You should also encourage your child to use a nickname instead of their real name in chat rooms or on instant messaging services. To stop people accessing your child’s online accounts, encourage them to keep their passwords secret, and to change them regularly.
Get your child to block people who send offensive messages and tell them not to open unknown links and attachments. They should delete any suspicious emails or attachments as they may contain something offensive or have a virus that can cause damage to the computer.
One of the main ways children can come across inappropriate content online is through search results. Most search engines include a 'safe search' option that excludes results containing inappropriate images or key words.
You can also install parental control software to filter out harmful and inappropriate content for computers and some mobile phones and games consoles.
The final rule is that your child should come to you or a trusted adult if they are worried or unhappy about anything they see online. They should also do this if a friend they have made online has asked to meet them in the offline world.
If your child does experience inappropriate content online, report it to the website it appears on. UKCCIS has developed an internet safety 'one stop shop' with more information.
Keeping Safe Online
- Never reveal ANY personal details that would allow someone to contact you outside the chat room.
- Always stay in the public area of a chat room, where everyone can see the conversation, and where you should be safer.
- NEVER arrange to go alone to meet anyone you have met over the Internet.
- If you do meet an online friend, take an adult with you and meet in a public place.
- Remember, everyone you meet in a chat room is a stranger, even though they might seem like a friend.
Talk to your child about their Internet use and take an interest. Your involvement is the best way of keeping them safe.
Pass on the safety advice.
Be positive! The Internet is a fantastic resource for learning, entertainment and
communication. Just like in the real world, you need to take a few sensible
Let your child know they can come to you if something they don’t like happens online. Try not to overreact! This could simply make your child secretive about their Internet use and close down lines of communication between you.
Remember that all the safety advice here also applies to going online with a mobile phone.
If you decide to use software to filter or monitor information from the Internet, talk this over with your child. Any ground rules you agree will be much more effective.