On Tuesday, February 9th we celebrated Safer Internet Day. The pupils have been engaged in lessons and activities all week to make them aware of and increase their understanding of staying safe online, the issue of cyber-bullying or cyberharrassment and knowing what to do if they are affected by these issues.   Children have much access to the internet whether on a family computer or possibly on their own device. It is vital that you discuss the importance of internet safety with your child at home as this is where they have most access to the internet and it is here you will engage with your child’s digital lifestyle.
Webwise.ie have many resources available to parents and teachers. Their top ten tips for parents are as follows:
1. Discover the Internet together
Be the one to introduce your child to the Internet. This could make it easier to share both positive and negative experiences in the future.
2. Agree with your child on rules for Internet use
Try to reach an agreement with your child on how long they should spend online and what types of sites and activities are ok.
3. Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information
They should be selective about what personal information and photos they post to online spaces. Once material is online it is subject to all kinds of unauthorised use.
4. Talk about the risks associated with meeting online friends
Young people are making friends online but they should only physically meet these strangers in the company of an adult or others they trust.
5. Teach your child about ‘source criticism’ on the Internet
Not all information found online is correct. Educate your children on how to verify information they find.
6. Don’t be too critical towards your child’s exploration of the Internet
Remember, it is not always their fault if they come across inappropriate content on the Web.
7. Report online material you may consider illegal to the appropriate authorities
It is important that we all take responsibility for the Web and report matters which we believe could be illegal to www.hotline.ie.
8. Encourage respect for others
As in everyday life there are informal ethical rules for how to behave when relating to other people on the Internet.
9. Know your child’s Internet use
To be able to guide your child’s Internet use, whether it’s on their mobile phone or PC, it is important to understand how children use the Internet and know what they like to do online.
10. Remember that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negative aspects
The Internet is an excellent educational and recreational resource for children. Encourage your child to be Webwise and explore the Internet to its full potential.
Further reading is available to download in The Family E-Safety Kit.
Aimed at six to twelve-year-olds, the full activity pack, The Family e-Safety Kit, was created to help parents share the benefits and risks of surfing the web in a fun and engaging way. It contains a parental e-safety guide, family golden rules, a family certificate, stickers and situation cards.
Click here to download the Family E-Safety Kit.