What is Online Safety?
Online Safety is about staying safe using any electronic device; this includes the use of the internet and also other means of communication using electronic media (eg text messages, gaming devices, email, and social networking sites etc). It can also be called ‘internet safety’ or ‘web safety’.
In practice, Online Safety is as much about behaviour as it is electronic security. Online Safety can be defined in three principal areas:
Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.
Nowadays the internet has become a vital part of all adult and children’s lives allowing them to undertake research, communicate with family and friends, and access any given information. The internet is constantly evolving which has meant an increasing number of electronic devices – such as mobile phones, smartphones, tablets/iPads, laptops and PCs being readily available to most families. Therefore, it is vitally important that both in school and at home children are made aware of how to use technology safely.
In line with DfE statutory guidance and the duty of Prevent, the school takes its role in educating children against harmful material very seriously and through thorough filters can ensure pupils are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in school. By providing a safe environment for debating controversial issues and helping pupils to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making, Knollmead Primary School intends to build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation. This is further endorsed by the promotion of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and fundamental British values in line with school policy.
www.safetynetkids.org.uk is an excellent website that provides the following guidance:
Top 10 tips for staying safe online
Top 10 tips for staying safe on your phone
Top 10 tips if you are being bullied online
How should you communicate any concerns?
Parents and carers are encouraged to endorse the school’s SMART approach when using the internet. The following SMART tips are designed for children aged 8-14 years:
How can you help at home?
As well as children having an understanding of safety through the curriculum, there are numerous ways that you can endorse this and ensure that your child stays safe online at home. The following links to national websites will provide a host of information for adults and children on the following topics:
Who to speak to if you have any worries
How to report a concern or incident
Online bullying and harassment
Sexual content and communication
Meeting strangers on and offline
Misuse of private and personal information
Prevention of downloading inappropriate material