Keeping Safe On-Line
Is Your Child Safe?
We know that mobile phones and other such devices can be very progressive and open up new and exciting adventures; however they can also cause many problems and issues, especially for children who have yet to learn all the aspects of keeping themselves safe.
To help you support your children to use these devices wisely and learn how to look after themselves we would recommend the links from the NSPCC and Live My Digital. They have a lot of useful help and advice.
These websites provide very useful information on how to keep safe on-line, and how to (and who to) report any concerns. Some of the sites provide videos for you to watch with your children.
Please don’t ignore this and think the problems which can arise whilst on-line only happen to other people; those people thought the same thing!
The minimum legal age for signing up to social media sites is:
Age 18 (or 13 with parent's permission):
YouTube, Flickr, Keek
Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest
Many children have accounts with Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube, to name but a few. Worryingly, a study in 2014, found that 59 per cent of children are social networking by the age of 10!
Some parents are unaware of the risks which can come from use of social media. Some networking sites use location markers and some, such as Snapchat, even more worryingly have a hidden extra - click on the Snapchat link to find out how children may be placed in physical danger!
Many parents give their children smart phones as a safety net especially when the children walk home from school on their own; it is a means of staying in contact. A parent can phone their offspring and establish where exactly they actually are. Does your child really know the”friends” they have accepted on social media? “Friends” on Snapchat can also establish exactly where a person is. Click on the link!
Dr Richard Woolfson, child psychologist and Knowthenet spokesman, said: 'The internet offers wonderful experiences for growing and inquisitive young minds.
'Yet, as social media has removed the barriers between a young person's public and private self, children can become vulnerable, and compulsive online sharing can lead to danger.
'As this study shows, children are gaining access to social media sites at a younger age, which could expose them to content, people or situations that are out of their depth and which they're not emotionally prepared for.
'Parents can no longer protect children by simply trying to limit their online experiences. Instead parents need to maintain an open dialogue and encourage children to share both good and bad online experiences, talk openly and straightforwardly about the risks they may encounter online without scaring them and make sure they keep up with the latest social media crazes and work with their children rather than trying to control them.