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Safer Internet Day 2017

6th Feb 2017

Just a few short years ago the term ‘e-safety’ would not mean much to anyone and would have had no real relevance in our schools.

Parents would not have been concerned about their children’s use of technology and children and young people themselves couldn’t have dreamed of the ways in which technology would form an integral part of their existence. The twentieth century’s explosion of technology has been unprecedented and it is so embedded in our daily lives, it is hard to remember a time when it did not exist.

This technological revolution has changed our lives irreversibly and many of us wonder how we ever managed without it. Most of us use a mobile phone, check email, shop via the Internet and stay connected through social networking sites. However, many adults will admit to having less knowledge about technology than their children do and certainly the way in which children and young people use technology is very different to adults.

Research has shown that a worrying number of 8 – 11yr olds do not have any parental controls online and more than a quarter of parents of children in this vulnerable age group are at risk of viewing inappropriate content. The study also showed that 24% of children access the Internet from their bedroom which means parents/carers may not always be aware of what they are doing or speaking to online. Even though Facebook has a minimum age restriction of 13yrs, a third of these 8 – 11 year olds admitted to having a Facebook account.

For this ‘Cyber Savvy’ generation, the right and ability to use technology manifests itself in a myriad of ways with young people learning, communicating, socialising and gaming through, with and because of technology. However, with rights come responsibilities and as we promote the use of technology, it is important to highlight the responsibilities that must come in tandem with these rights. Technology is easily abused and misused and if we are allowing our children use of and access to these tools, we must ensure they are able to use them safely and respectfully.

Some Helpful Tips for Parents/Guardians:

  • Always use privacy settings
  • Use different passwords for each account When setting passwords and password reset questions/answers, make them as difficult as possible
  • Never write your passwords down or share them with anyone
  • Download and install anti-virus and online security software which helps protect your computer from outside attacks that could try to steal information
  • Be aware of what your child/children are doing online and become familiar with how the sites work so you can chat to them about it
  • Let them know what is expected of them and what is a “no go”
  • Ensure that they know the dangers of posting content and personal details including pictures
  • Encourage them not to divulge any personal details such as age, address or contact details to anyone online
  • Explain the dangers of posting content that you feel might be inappropriate or controversial and the trail that can be left behind
  • Be there if something goes wrong. If they feel they might have put themselves in danger, or are in danger, remember to reassure them that you are always there to support them
  • Be thoughtful – The internet provides a platform for billions of people to share their views and opinions but not everything or everyone online is trustworthy. Encourage your children to think critically about the things they see online including the images and videos they view on social media. Discussing what they have seen and the message behind a photo or a video can help them consider the difference between fact and opinion.
  • Many people want to share the news they are going on holiday – think about the impact and danger this could have on your family
  • Ensure they understand it is a criminal offence to use the Internet to threaten or harass people

Further reading

Further help and information can be found on our website:

or by visiting the Safer Internet Day Website:

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