Tuesday 9 February 2016

Safer Internet Day 2016

Today is Safer Internet Day 2016 
What is Safer Internet Day?
Safer internet day, now in its sixth year, is coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre. The day sees hundreds of organisations involved in promoting safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
Tips for parents on internet safety from The Department for Education and UK Safer Internet Centre
  • Have an open and honest dialogue with children about staying safe online
  • Encourage them to tell you which sites they might be using and talk to about anything they see online
  • Set boundaries and make an agreement on what they can and cannot do online. If the agreement is broken, restrict internet access for an agreed period of time
  • Read up on information available through schools and official sites, such as ParentInfo, to make sure you are aware of issues and armed with information
  • Arm your children with advice:
·         Be careful what you say online. Respect others and do not retaliate or reply to offending e-mails, text messages or online conversations – leave the conversation
·         Be careful what pictures or videos you upload. Once a picture is shared online it cannot be taken back
·         Only add people you know and trust to friends/followers lists online
What is government doing about internet safety?
In 2014 the government made internet safety a compulsory part of the curriculum. Schools are also able to teach e-safety during PSHE lessons and every school is required by law to have measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying including cyber-bullying.
In December last year the government also announced strengthened measures to protect children from harm online - including cyberbullying, pornography and the risk of radicalisation. Under the proposals all schools will:
·         Need to have appropriate filters and monitoring systems, so that no child can access harmful content via the school’s IT systems and concerns can be spotted quickly; 
·         Be required to ensure that they teach their pupils about safeguarding, including online. 

The government also announced a further package of measures including:
  • Two practical guides on social media – including one to help parents keep their children safe online produced by the UK’s Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCISS)  – to help children understand the risks and benefits of social media, and prevent risks becoming problems.
  • New online training, launched in the new year, will offer support for professionals, including nurses, doctors and teachers who work with children and young people.
  • An updated Thinkuknow site offers a completely refreshed suite of articles and guidance on all aspects of child internet safety, as well as providing specific advice for parents and carers on preventing their children from becoming victims of sexual abuse and exploitation both online and in the ‘real world; and
  • New industry-led awareness raising initiatives including Google’s ‘Internet Legends’ tour which will travel around the country delivering assemblies to school children in 40 locations during this school year, to help kids stay safe online, so they can get the most out of all that the internet can offer.

In addition ParentInfo, a new government funded online service, offers free expert advice to schools on how children and young people can stay safe online. This information, packed as a Tool Kit, can be hosted on individual schools websites making it easily accessible to parents and carers who can then discuss these important issues at home. It’s already available in 2,500 schools giving parents practical advice and tips on issues such as sexting, and online bullying.
We have given schools powers to help them contain cyber-bullying during the school day by banning or limiting the use of mobiles and other electronic devices. Teachers also have the power to search for, and if necessary delete, inappropriate images (or files) on electronic devices, including mobile phones.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:
 “As a parent I understand the real importance of internet safety in protecting our children. The internet is a powerful tool which can have brilliant and virtually limitless benefits, but with this does come some risk.”
“We are working hard to address these online risks but we can’t do it alone, parents are vitally important in making sure that children stay safe online. We want to make sure young people are educated, and parents as well as teachers, are knowledgeable and actively involved in promoting internet safety so that children are able to safely enjoy all that new technologies have to offer”

Emma in Bromley xx

Disclaimer: I was sent this information from The Department for Education and wanted to share it with you because I felt it was important.

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Emma x