We all need to use the internet for school work, to help us in our day-to-day lives and of course for fun. However, we must all be careful to use the internet and technology wisely and keep ourselves safe.
The number one thing to remember, if anything is worrying you online or on your phone, is to tell a trusted adult (like a parent or teacher). Don’t be afraid or embarrassed, just tell someone straight away.
Here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind when you use the Internet and your mobile phone and some useful links below to help you stay safe:
Staying safe online
- Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number
- Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you’ve put a picture of yourself online people can see it and download it, it’s not just yours anymore
- Keep your privacy settings on social media accounts as high as possible
- Never give out your passwords
- Don’t befriend people you don’t know
- Don’t accept friend or follow requests from people you don’t know
- Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online – speak to a trusted adult about anyone who suggest you do
- Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are
- Think carefully about what you say before you post something online
- Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views, it doesn’t mean you need to be rude
- If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried; leave the website, and tell a trusted adult immediately
Staying safe on your mobile
- Don’t reply to any nasty messages you receive – tell an adult about them instead
- Don’t reply to a text from someone you don’t know
- Keep the messages you have been sent so you can show them to a trusted adult and make a note of the time and date of the messages or calls you receive
- Don’t answer calls from withheld numbers or numbers you don’t recognise – let it go to voicemail
- Don’t give your mobile number to someone you don’t know
- Don’t send pictures to someone you don’t know and be very careful about sending pictures to anyone on your phone
What to do if you are being bullied online
- Tell an adult you trust if you are being cyber bullied
- Don’t respond or retaliate to bullying messages – it could make things worse
- Block users who send you nasty messages (if you need advice on how to block people on various social media websites, use the documents below)
- Save any abusive emails or texts you receive and show an adult
- Don’t pass on any cyber bullying videos or messages – this is cyber bullying (Take the BBC quiz ‘Are you an accidental cyberbully?’).
- You can talk to someone at Child Line or get online safety advice at www.childline.org.uk/talk/Pages/Talk.aspx
National Online Safety
National Online Safety (NOS) have published lots of helpful information and tips for staying safe online. NOS also have handy guides on popular apps such as TikTok, Snapchat and Netflix as well as advice and guidance for remote learning. https://nationalonlinesafety.com/training
For information on the different social media platforms download the resources below, provided by the UK Safer Internet Centre.
New apps come out all the time and it’s up to all of us, teachers, staff, students and parents to be aware of online dangers and do what we can to protect against them.
There are too many apps that could pose a risk to list here, so the safest approach is to use parental controls on your child’s, phone, tablet or computer so that you can decide which apps can be downloaded. You can then look up each app online to understand it more and make an informed decision about whether it is safe for your child.
How to set up app store parental controls:
You can find parental control instructions for the Apple App store (iPhones and iPads) here.
Google Play store (Android phones) parental controls are here.
Please be aware that other phones such as Samsung, Huawei etc. also have their own stores that children may use.
Social Media Checklists
‘Sexting’ is a term used to describe sharing of intimate texts, images or videos with another person. You can download the guides below to find out more about the dangers of ‘sexting’ and what to do if you have been involved in an ‘sexting’ incident. If there has been an inappropriate image of you posted online, you should speak to your parent or teacher. This service from Childline can help you to get images removed from the internet.