At West Somerset College, we believe that the use of technology is highly beneficial to the education of young people. As well as technology, such as the Internet, being used in a positive way for educational outcomes, we also acknowledge that there are many risks in using these. Our philosophy is to educate young people to make the right choices when using the Internet and to teach them how to be safe when using online technologies.
E-Safety is a national issue and we all must aim to ensure that the Internet is used in a safe manner. In addition to this, being aware of privacy settings, filters and safe usage of social networking sites will enable young people to feel protected online.
As with all bullying, we will not tolerate cyber-bullying and would encourage young people and their parents to report any such issues of cyper-bullying to the police and also inform the school so the school can deal with any issues that may occur at school. In addition, if there are any concerns in relation to any content which is on the Internet or any persons who may be contacting young people, there is an option to report this online at CEOP here and clicking on the button which looks like this:
As parents, you can play a fundamental role in this aspect of their education. To stay up to date with further information and advice, please visit YouThinkNow to find information on:
TOP TIPS IN STAYING SAFE ONLINE
PARENTS AND CARERS
- Ensure the computer is kept in a busy area of the house, where it is easier to monitor what young people are accessing online.
- Make the most of Internet filtering software and use your web browser's controls to enable security on different websites.
- Inform your children not to share their personal information online.
- Be online together! Browsing the Internet with your child and being involved in their 'online world' will promote online safety.
Netware is a parents’ guide to the social networks children and young people use. Stay up to date and keep your child safe in today’s digital world.
- Make sure you are old enough to join any sites including social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Do not post any personal information online including your phone number, address, passwords or which school you go to.
- Maybe use a made up name or nickname on your profile.
- Do not make friends with anyone you don't already know personally.
- Maybe use an email address that does not include your name.
- Always use a 'strong' password. That is, don't use any names or words that someone may guess, like the name of your dog or your favourite singer. Use random letters or numbers and change your password regularly.
- Use the strongest privacy setting when you set up your profile. This means that only your friends will be able to view your information. Use the search engines on social networking websites to find out how to do this.
- Pictures and videos can be shared very easily across the Internet, so make sure you are very careful when uploading - even if you only share it with friends, it can easily be spread much further than that.
- Be very careful about sharing content online - especially if it isn't yours to share. Illegal downloads are definitely best avoided.
- Never meet up with anyone you have met online.
- Make sure you know about the safety features on any networking site. Some, for example, have a 'panic button' which you can press if you see something that shouldn't be there.
- If anything happens online that you don't like, tell someone.
- Think carefully when 'posting' or 'sharing' a photo online. Remember, once a photo is posted online, people will be able to share or download the photo.
- SPEAK UP! If you viewed something online that made you anxious, unsafe or uncomfortable, please speak to an adult that you trust.
- If you do not know someone, why are they your "online friend" or "follower"?
CHILDLINE 0800 1111 - this number is free to call from any phone.
STOPITNOW 0800 1000 900
Further Information: Supporting Young People Online
Excellent advice on all aspects of online safety here: Vodafone Digital Parenting Checklist
Vodafone also publish a regular magazine with updates and information on internet safety. Please click here to download the latest issue.
The UK Safer Internet has an online guide for parents regarding internet safety. Please click here to go to the page.
The government also produce advice on internet safety that is very thorough. This is aimed at parents and young people: (CEOP) website: www.thinkyouknow.co.uk
Somerset county council have produced this website Elim Somerset Technology which provides much information for parents and young people.
This website answers common questions like:
- What is my child doing online?
- How do I talk to my child about what they are doing online?
- What risks might my child face?
- What tools are there to keep my child safe?
There are also free apps that parents can use to control internet access on their children’s mobile devices:
- Mobicip Safe Browser with Parental Control (Android Devices)
- Mobicip Safe Browser With Parental Control (Apple Devices)
- ParentInfo – From CEOP and Parent Zone