Today, Tuesday 6th February 2018, is Safer Internet Day. It is an initiative that we have been involved in for years and one that we feel passionately about.
We all know, that we are now living in a digital age. One of iPads, tablets, game consols, social media and mobile apps, rather than pen, paper and phone conversations. Arguably, it used to be far easier for ‘private’ conversations to be monitored by caregivers…the curse/joy of one phone in a household! But don’t fear, there are ways and we are going to share them with you!
Our young people are bombarded with stimulus online all day, every day and it can be difficult for them and for us, to know how to ensure that they are safe online and to know what that means. What threats are there and how can you be aware of them and avoid them?
What power do we have over something that is not physical or tangible? How can we control and protect ourselves and our loved ones whilst still enjoying the perks said technology brings us…because let’s be honest, we don’t want to stop using it completely, it does bring certain perks.
Well, all day we will be sharing our top tips to help you stay safe online and things to look out for and to avoid.
We will also be sharing fabulous resources from the UK Safer Internet Day Resource Centre and other supportive companies and helpful information for children, young people, families & carers, and educators.
Stay Tuned and to keep up to date please follow the hashtags:
#SID2018 and #ItStartsWithUs
Parenting in this digital age can be challenging. You are not alone! All families are in a similar situation – youngsters wanting to test their boundaries as they strive for independence and privacy; parents wanting to give their children space but needing to protect them at the same time.
What’s the best way to ensure you are keeping your children safe?
After watching this video, it is clear that one of the main ways to keep your children safe is through open-discussion with them.
Allowing them to ask questions, having clear boundaries and understanding why those boundaries are in place and feeling comfortable enough to approach you with any queries or problems. The earlier this attitude towards online safety is introduced the better.
If you would like to know about parental controls and making sure that you are able to monitor your children’s online time there are a few ways to do this. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a step by step guide.
Simple changes you can make, along with open discussion with your children, are the following.
Placing all computers and devices in communal areas.
This way they are not in a private area and can be monitored easily. It also means that they are less susceptible to people who may have ulterior motives because there is a constant presence around them.
Ensuring parental controls are in place and explaining why.
Service providers do have parental controls and added security measures for families and young people. Utilise them. If implemented from a young age, your children will not know the difference and by the time they understand you will be having open discussions with them.
Explain why only friends should be added on social media.
This one can be…character building. Young people want to be liked by everyone and it takes some time to learn that “friends” aren’t horrible to us. It easier for them to grasp the idea that profiles should be private and that this is an extension of that rule.
Limit computer time and access.
Extend the time as they grow up but restrict it before bedtime as the blue light affects sleep quality. This includes mobiles. Encourage them to be charged up overnight in communal areas.
Testing all apps before allowing children to access them.
Lead by example.
I want to be liked. I want to fit in. I don’t want to be treated like a kid…You know this stuff!
All adults do is bang-on about staying safe.
The dangerous stuff only happens in magazines – it won’t happen to me!
The sad thing is though, that all the bad things you hear about could happen to you if you don’t listen. That’s why Safer Internet Day started – to ensure that you know how to stay safe online and can work with your family to ensure everyone in your house is staying safe too. That’s right, to educate you so you can educate others!
Adults keep talking about it because repetition is for emphasis – it helps us remember important things. It’s also because – they love you.
Below you will find a series of videos – please watch them and have a think. Perhaps you’ve received those messages. Perhaps you’ve sent them. What can you do, from this day forward to manage and deal with things like this?
One of our local schools – Newington Community Primary School called for action against Cyber-Bullying in September 2017 so we know it is a big problem but one that everyone is trying to fight against! Please take a look at their video and the article to see what changes they are making.
How would you respond to these messages?
After watching this video it’s nice to see how shocked people were at the nasty messages! There is no need to be unkind. However, if someone is spiteful to you it seems that everyone agreed that good ways to deal with it are:
- Ignore the message.
- Block them and carry on.
- Be happy in your own skin.
- You shouldn’t share pictures without permission – especially if you are asked not to.
How would you respond to these messages?
It’s not okay to be unkind. The overwhelming response is that such behaviour is unacceptable and no one would like it to happen to them. Some people even wanted to step in. The next video considers empathy and the role it plays in friendships and why it is so important…
Do you take time to consider your responses and to put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you reply? Do you react rather than respond? Then maybe this video was really helpful to you. Words hurt people and can be very damaging. Taking a few moments to weigh up how you are going to respond to someone shows a strength of character and shows you care.
ARE YOU USING SOCIAL MEDIA SAFELY? HOW CAN YOU USE IT IN A HEALTHIER WAY? AFTER ALL… #ITSTARTSWITHUS
As you answer these questions take a moment and be honest with yourself – don’t answer with what you think it wants you to say.