This page has been designed with both parents and students in mind to help educate on safety while using the internet. This is only a guide to the basics of internet safety, more in-depth information can be found on various links throughout this page.
Looking after your children online can be quite a daunting task with most teenagers have access to the internet using a smartphone or tablet, and they use a wide range of social networking sites as a vital part of their relationships with other. There are a few tips we can give you to help you effectively keep your children while browsing the internet.
Stay InvolvedKeep talking and stay interested in what they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to bring up challenging issues like sexting, pornography and cyberbullying. It could be embarrassing, but you’ll both benefit from the subjects being out in the open.
Keep their information privateYour child can set privacy settings on most social networking sites so that only close friends can search for them, tag them in a photograph or share what they’ve posted.
Stay safe on the moveUse safe settings on all mobile devices but be aware that if your child is accessing the internet using public WiFi, filters to block inappropriate content may not be active.
Be responsibleTalk to your child about being responsible when they’re online. Children often feel they can say things online that they wouldn’t say face-to-face. Teach them to always have respect for themselves and others online.
Talk about online reputationLet them know that anything they upload, email or message could stay around forever online. Remind them they should only do things online that they wouldn’t mind you, their teacher or a future employer seeing.
Adjust controlsDiscuss with them adjusting your parental controls to match your teenager’s level of maturity. Have a chat about it first – don’t turn them off completely without careful consideration and discussion.
Show you trust themIf you can afford to, give them a small allowance that they can use for spending online so they can download apps, music and films for themselves, from places you agree together.
Don't give inRemind them how important it is not to give in to peer pressure to send inappropriate comments or images.
One way to control the material your child may see on the internet is to place controls set by you. There are various ways to prevent them from seeing content you may not want them to view. Over at Internet Matters, they have handy step-by-step guides to help you protect your child by using parental controls. Click here to head over to internet matters.
If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to Dorset Police on 101 or in an emergency 999 and make an immediate report.
Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
Local Authority Children’s Social Care: 01305 760139
Each term the Safer Schools and Communities Team release an online newsletter regarding e-safety. This provides up to date information to help you with current online trends. To view the latest one click here.
The internet is an amazing place to be creative, chat with friends, and find interesting fun stuff.
You may spend a lot of time online, so it’s important to enjoy that time, and to be safe and happy.
Online FriendshipsTry to think of your online world as an extension of your offline friendships. Include friends in your activities. It can feel just as hurtful to be left out of online games or chat as offline ones. Be careful how you word things, as sometimes the written word can be misinterpreted. Consider whether important conversations, like resolving conflicts, might be better done face to face.
Be respectfulRespect your friends on social media. Don’t post photos of them that they might find embarrassing without asking first – and take them down straight away if someone asks you to. Try to be mindful of how your posts will make people feel before you put them up. You’ll care about what other people post about you – so be courteous to others too.
Be aware of your digital footprintEvery time you go online you leave a digital 'footprint' which shows others where you are and what you have been doing. While posting pictures and videos is great for sharing with friends and being creative, always remember that once an image or file is online it’s likely to stay there forever. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.
Think before you postSocial media and some websites can be great for airing your opinions. However, you risk saying or writing things on the spur of the moment that you may later regret. Try to put your point across in a positive or neutral way. It will have more impact and shouldn’t cause offence. When you respond to something someone has said, remember there’s a person at the other end who has feelings, just like you do.
Know who you're dealing withLots of people only play or chat with people they know in person, and that’s a sensible approach. But if you do meet people you don’t know, use the same caution that you would offline. People may not be who they say they are, so be mindful about what you say about yourself. Keep chat general and if you are concerned that someone’s asking for personal details, stop contact and tell a trusted adult. Never arrange to meet someone you only know online.
Protect your identityWhen using the internet never give out personal information, such as your number, where you live or what school you go to – it’s a big no-no. If you are using social media check your privacy settings and make sure only friends can see your posts.
Keep a healthy balanceThe internet is a fantastic resource for playing, sharing, and learning. But if you find yourself spending a lot of time online, or thinking about it when you could be doing fun 'real world' things, maybe it’s time to back off a bit. There’s a whole world out there. It’s about striking a balance.
It's not always real lifePhotos and posts can exaggerate real life. Think about it - we usually select our prettiest, happiest pictures (you rarely see posts about going to the supermarket with your mum, or photos of a massive spot). Images of other people’s (carefully chosen) perfect lives can leave you feeling low, but they rarely tell the whole story.
Reporting a problem online
If you’ve seen something upsetting online, or something makes you feel scared or worried, that’s normal. There are places you can go and people you can speak to for help.
Talk about it
Speak to an adult you can confide in about what you’ve seen. It could be a family member, teacher or youth worker, for example. They might be able to help clear things up and sort out your concerns.
If you stumbled across something online by accident, that adult may have some tips for how to avoid seeing that upsetting thing in the future. They can also help you find the report button on a site.
If you don’t have anyone you can speak to at home or school, there are services you can call, email or chat to online here.
These services are there to listen and help you with what to do next. They won’t try to stop you from going online, and you won’t be in trouble if you found the worrying content on a site you’re not old enough to go on.
ChildLine: A free confidential 24/7 helpline for children and young people. You can call 0800 1111 or chat online at www.childline.org.uk ChildLine is run by the NSPCC.
The Mix: A free confidential helpline for young people under 25, open 11am-11pm every day. Tel 0808 808 4994 or chat online at www.themix.org.uk
If you’ve seen something online that makes you feel uncomfortable or that upsets you, it’s important to report it where you can.
Reporting content won’t mean you can’t access the site in future, but it will alert the platform that this content is something to take a bigger look at. It will also help you stop seeing content like it again.
Try to talk to an adult you can trust what you’ve seen so that they can help you to report it.
Below you can read how to report an issue on different social media sites.
If you see something on a website that you’re really worried about, there are a few places you can report this to if you want to take matters further.
Below you can find websites to help you report Criminal Content;
Grooming or other illegal behaviour: If you want to report someone who is behaving suspiciously online towards a child, you should in an emergency contact the emergency services by calling 999, or otherwise make a report to CEOP, the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre, see www.ceop.gov.uk. We have placed a CEOP button at the bottom of our website to help you report things easily.
Child sexual abuse images: If you stumble across criminal content online, you should report this to the Internet Watch Foundation at www.iwf.org.uk/report. Criminal content in the UK includes child sexual abuse images, criminally obscene adult content as well as non-photographic child sexual abuse images.
Online terrorism: You can report terrorism-related content to the police’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit at www.gov.uk/report-terrorism.
Hate speech: Online content which incites hatred on the grounds of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender should be reported to True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk.