St Peter's 13-18
This section provides parents with information on internet safety for their children. There are some tips that should always be kept in mind when online:
- Statuses or images posted online can be viewed by many people; never post pictures of yourself or your friends online that you wouldn’t show your parents or grandparents.
- Make sure your user settings are set to ‘private’ so only your real friends can connect with you.
- Make sure you know who is on your friends list.
- Report any online abuse and offensive messages.
It is easier to contact people than ever before, while this brings many benefits, it has also has the potential for Cyberbullying to occur. Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place via technology, whether through social media, mobile phones or online gaming.
Whereas traditional bullying may stop when a child returns home, Cyberbullying can take place outside of school, and in areas which may seem secure, such as the home. This type of bullying can potentially be relentless as people can easily share information and remain anonymous.
It is very easy to make fake profiles on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Children can end up interacting with people who they may not know and who may be using a fake profile. This can lead to grooming. Grooming is where someone attempts to speak to a child over a prolonged period of time to gain their trust and encourage them to share information or photos that they otherwise would not. They may also encourage a child to meet them.
Thinkuknow lists 5 possible signs that someone might be using you:
- To get to know you they give you lots of attention.
- They give you gifts, like phone credit, alcohol, drugs or jewellery.
- They try to isolate you from your friends or family.
- They have mood swings.
- They control you with promises and threats.
Posting on social media
Children do not just have to be aware of what other people say online, but also what they themselves post.
Before they post anything, every user should consider whether it has the potential to offend anyone. This is not exclusive to written posts and tweets, but includes images and videos. These can cause offence and can also be shared and copied.
A guide to the social networks popular with children can be found on the NSPCC’s Net Aware site.
How and what to report
If you need serious help then call 999 or contact your local police:
If anyone has acted inappropriately online to your child, you should report it to CEOP to help them improve internet safety.
Where to get help
If you have concerns then you can contact Dr Alastair Dunn who is the School’s Designated Senior Lead for Child Protection.
More information about keeping children safe online can be found on the Child Exploitation and Online Protection website.
For free expert advice on online safety, visit Get Safe Online.
For wider information about tackling bullying online and offline, visit kidscape.org.uk.