Why is it important to stay safe online?

 

Most of us are ‘connected’ via our laptops, consoles, handheld devices, mobile phones, tablets or personal computer. The potential for the internet to be a valuable and a fun resource for entertainment, making friends, keeping in touch and learning is huge. However, if you use the internet, you could be at risk of illegal activity or abuse – be it bullying, fraud or something more serious. Unlike seeing someone face to face, on the net, people are not always what they first seem.
In the same way you learn about safety when you leave the house, it is important to learn how to stay safe online.

St. Crispin’s School takes internet safety extremely seriously. Students are made aware of the steps we take to ensure their safety when working on-line in school, as well as working with the police to investigate the rare instances where young people endanger the safety and wellbeing of others, through misuse of electronic communication. You can read the ‘Acceptable Usage of ICT Policy’ by clicking the link below or visiting the ‘About Us’ section of the website.

We know that internet safety is a concern of many parents and there are a lot of useful resources and information available about keeping your children safe when they use the internet, mobile phones, or other devices connected to the Internet.

Parents are reminded that whilst the internet is a useful and effective learning tool, students should not be allowed to be on the internet unsupervised. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Ensure you are clear about what your child will be doing on-line and ask them to show you their work before and after internet use
  • Limit the use of additional features such as a web cam to when you are present in the room
  • Keep computers and laptops in family areas so that you are aware of the sites your child is using
  • Report any abuse or impropriety to the appropriate site authorities
  • Contact the Child Exploitation On line Protection (CEOP) authorities if there is any cause for concern.

 

Guide to responsible digital use

 

Understanding Screen Addiction and Responsible Digital Use

Understanding Screen Addiction and Responsible Digital Use explores the topic of excessive mobile device usage and media consumption and offers practical ways to build healthier digital habits.
The guide offers lots of valuable information on:

  • Understanding screen addictions – how our devices affect our brains (dopamine reward loops) and influence our habits and behaviours.
  • Stats around digital consumption, including a look at the pandemic’s impact on our device usage.
  • Recognising the signs and symptoms of unhealthy screen time and gadget use.
  • How we can develop healthier digital habits – including practical tips and advice on healthy habits and boundaries to embrace.

 

Known Concerns

 

OOVOO is a social media app children are downloading. This allows an individual with the app to search for anyone else who has the app even if they do not know them. For example, a search for ‘Mel’ brings up the contact details of anyone called Mel who also has the app. Police are very concerned because undesirable adults are using it as a means of contacting children/young people. This has already happened to a young female student in another school.
We advise that you make your child aware of the risk associated with this app and take steps to discourage children from using it.

The Blue Whale Game is a dangerous game being played on social media. The Blue Whale game originated in Russia and is now spreading across Europe. The game is played online and spreads through social media. Players are appointed a “master/teacher” and these “masters/teachers” issue progressively more dangerous challenges to players in stages. As the game goes on the players are directed to self-harm and the final challenge is to commit suicide. All these actions have to be filmed and shared via social media to the so called “master/teacher”. The game is being targeted at children of all ages, some as young as primary age, but predominantly at teenagers.

 

Warning signs to look out for may include:

  • Self-Harm, in particular any designs resembling a Blue Whale scratched onto the skin
  • The young person taking photos of their self-harm marks and objects used, and pictures taken of themselves at height
  • The young person setting alarms for the very early hours of the morning to watch scary/psychedelic movies
  • The young person leaving the house in the early hours of the morning
  • The young person frequenting high buildings, bridges or railway lines

The safety of your child is imperative to us as a school, and we hope that you will find this communication helpful in raising awareness. Please talk to your children and remind them to tell you about any games or messages on social media they are concerned about. Most children are happy to talk to adults as they can become very worried for themselves and others.

If you have any concerns regarding this ‘game’ or with any aspect of keeping children safe then please contact your child’s Learning Director of year.

 

WhatsApp

 

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with more than 1.5 billion people in more than 180 countries using it to send and receive text, photos, videos and documents, as well as make voice and video calls through an Internet or Wi-Fi connection. The free app offers end-to-end encryption, which means that messages can only be read by the sender and the recipient in one-to-one chats, or all members if it is a group chat. Not even WhatsApp can read them.

WhatsApp Guide for Parents

 

Following a very informative assembly about online safety for our children held by ParentZone, please see the information below including the free Digital Parenting magazine for more tips on keeping your child safe online.

 

NEW Digital Parenting Guide

Digital Parenting is a guide to help parents and children enjoy the benefits of the online world. It is 20 pages of essential information, with expert advice on topics such as sleep, social media, gaming addiction, screen time and parental controls. Digital Parenting was created in partnership by Parent Zone and the Vodafone Foundation and is suitable for both UK primary and secondary schools. It is free to order* – including P&P, with a minimum of 50 copies. It can also be ordered by groups and organisations that work with families and children.

Digital Parenting Guide

 

Parent Information

In partnership with the National Crime Agency’s CEOP, Parent Info is our parent-facing website addressing all of the issues amplified by the internet. Schools can register for free to host the content on their own website to ensure that parents have access to the most up-to-date information to support their digital parenting.

Parent Guides

 

Further Information

 

CEOP www.ceop.police.uk has some very useful resources for parents. it is quick and easy to register and you be sent regular updates on important information.

 

NSPCC Online Safety
National Online Safety
Safety Net Kids
Think you Know

 

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