28th November 2017
How parents and carers can support their children to manage their rights and privacy online
In today’s increasingly digital world, it’s more important than ever that parents and carers feel equipped to help children develop the resilience, information and power they need to thrive online.
There is no doubt that the internet and social media give children amazing opportunities to learn, to develop new skills, and to keep in touch with friends. However, it not always clear that the rights that children enjoy offline also extend online.
Terms and conditions for websites, apps and online services are often excessively long and very difficult to understand. This means that many people tick ‘I agree’ without ever reading the first line of a terms and conditions agreement. Yet buried within these documents is important information about the rights of the companies and the rights of the user.
In order to help parents, carers, teachers and children understand these rights, I have worked with the law firm Schillings, who specialise in privacy law, to produce simplified terms and conditions for Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook– the top 5 platforms used by children and young people.
I’ve called on social media companies to commit to simplifying their own terms and conditions. In the
However, I know that parents and carers would also find this information very useful, so I am making them more widely available to download.
Creating short and simple terms and conditions is one of the first steps in helping children to understand their rights and become more informed digital citizens and I hope these tools will help parents and carers do that too.
Share Aware for KS2:
NSPCC ‘Share Aware’ campaign for parents. The Share Aware campaign aims to help parents and teachers keep children safe online. This campaign includes two animations with a serious message deriving from the stories of two children who share too much about themselves on-line.
For more information and to view the resources, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware
• Lucy and the Boy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwcL-VP3FYc
• I Saw Your Willy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sch_WMjd6go
Net Aware: Our overview of the safety of 60 sites, apps and games young people use:
At Holway Park Primary School, we take e-safety extremely seriously. We believe that it is the right of all children to feel safe and secure when using technology.
We teach children to use the internet and other technologies safely, and we show them how to behave in an appropriate manner. They know what to do if they feel uncomfortable with anything they see or hear either online or through other technology such as mobile phones. We have a simple procedure which we hope is also used at home:
If anything makes you feel scared or uncomfortable online tell a responsible adult straight away. Don't be afraid you will get into trouble.
It is important to encourage a healthy lifestyle with regard to the use of technology, and teach children about the risks of exposure to inappropriate content or too much time in front of a screen.
We show children how to keep their data and security safe, and we teach them to be critical of the things they see online.
Our e-safety policy and ICT policy hold detailed information about how we ensure our children remain safe in their use of technology.
As a member of staff at Holway Park Primary School, you have signed the Acceptable Use Policy on the use of technology at school.
It is really important that parents and carers work with us to ensure children stay safe in their use of technology.
All visitors to the school have to turn off all mobile devices with cameras before they are allowed access to the pupils.
It has come to our attention that some children at Holway Park School have Facebook profiles even though according to the sites terms and conditions, the permitted minimum age to use the site is 13.
Holway Park School is committed to promoting the safe and responsible use of the Internet and as such we feel it is our responsibility to raise this particular issue as a concern.
Websites such as Facebook offer amazing communication and social connections; however they are created with their audience in mind. This is specifically 13 years and over and meets with the requirements defined by US law (Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act.)
There are special safeguards in place for those users who register as under-18s. However if a child registers on Facebook implying they are 18 or over, there are no automatic safeguards applied to their profile.
Other possible risks for children under 13 using the site may include:
There are many social networks designed for a younger audience. These can act as useful and safe environments for children to learn how social networks operate and to build up their online resilience and skills.
We feel it is important to point out to parents the risks of underage use of such sites. Parents should make an informed decision as to whether to allow their child to have a profile or not.
Should you choose to allow your child to have a Facebook profile, we strongly advise you:
Help your child to make their profile safer by having appropriate privacy settings in place. Details of how to do this can be found at http://www.connectsafely.org/pdfs/fbparents.pdf
Talk to your child about safe and appropriate online behaviour such as sharing personal information or posting offensive messages or photos
Think about installing the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) application from www.facebook.com/clickceop on their profile. This places a CEOP “Report Abuse” button on their Facebook page and has been known to deter potential offenders.
Get yourself up to speed with the latest guidance and advice. Try www.facebook.com/help/?safety=parents or Connect Safely/iKeepsafe “Facebook Guide for Parents” http://www.connectsafely.org/pdfs/fbparents.pdf
If you need to play a more active role in your child’s online life, you may want to set up your own profile to understand how Facebook works. You may even want to agree with your child to be “friends”.
Make sure your child understands the following guidance:
Keep your personal information under control; think, “Would I tell this to a stranger?”
Be careful what you share with online “friends” as you may not know all of them well
Use “friends lists” to help manage what information you share with whom
Be careful what you post; it says a lot about you.
Never agree to meet somebody you only know online without telling a trusted adult
Always tell someone if you feel threatened or someone upsets you
We will take appropriate action if a problem comes to our attention that involves the safety or wellbeing of any of our children.
There is a wealth of free online resources for parents with information on keeping your child safe online, including the following: