New technologies inspire children to be creative, communicate and learn. However, while the internet is a great resource, it is important that children and young people are protected from the risks they may encounter. The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation: technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. At the Aylesbury Vale Academy we have developed an effective approach to online safety to ensure we protect and educate our community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms so we can identify, intervene and escalate any incident where appropriate.
The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:
- content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material;
- contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; and
- conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.
What can you do as a parent/carer to keep your child safe online?
With technology changing on what can seem like a weekly basis, often our young people are more up to date than we are; it can be daunting to know what to do to keep them using the internet safely. An easy way to ensure you know what your child is doing online and to make sure they know how to stay safe is to get them to take you through the steps they would follow to do three things on every app they use.
Do they know how to:
- Block someone they don’t want as a ‘friend’?
- Change their privacy settings? (And then check their settings are appropriately secure)
- Report something or someone that makes them feel uncomfortable/offensive?
Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) provides up to date information and a way to report concerns:
ThinkUKnow is an excellent resource, regularly updated and available in a range of age appropriate levels to support all young people, parents and professionals: www.thinkuknow.co.uk