Table of Contents:
Useful Online Safety Websites
Articles for Parents
Keeping your child safe, happy and secure is always our top priority.
With the increased popularity of mobile devices and social networks, monitoring your child’s online activity can be challenging. To help with this task, PC Briggenshaw, Furze Down School’s linked online safety officer, has recommended a system called ‘Monqi’. Monqi is a special phone designed specifically for children; with the accompanying free app, parents can:
- be alerted when a child attempts to access illicit content
- view a child’s online activity remotely
- set limits to ensure a child only uses the device at appropriate times and for appropriate lengths of time
- ensure only parent approved apps are installed
- approve contacts, ensuring a child only speaks to people that parents know. Monqi is available from https://www.monqi.co/
Monqi is designed to keep children safe and give control back to the parents.
Fortnite and other games
Many children enjoy playing computer games. However, it's important that we make the right choices in providing games that are appropriate and safe. The NSPCC has produced a very useful article on the safe use of computer games:
One game in particular has been very popular recently - Fortnite. Again, the NSPCC have written a very useful article linked to the game, and we strongly recommend that parents read the article if they've chosen to allow their children to play Fortnite:
PC Briggenshaw visited recently, meeting with parents from across the school. The sessions were very informative, with plenty of very useful tips shared:
- https://getsafeonline.org - very useful website with free online expert advice to help stay safe.
- E-safety helplines are available, with facilities to report concerns, including:
- Parent Info website has a range of useful information: http://parentinfo.org. A digital parenting magazine is also produced and we will be sending home a copy of this shortly.
- Snapchat; Snapchat is a popular tool for communicating, but it comes with a range of risks. PC Briggenshaw described the importance of ensuring location tracking is disabled and that we need to ensure only safe photographs are sent.
- Public Wifi; PC Briggenshaw described the dangers of public wifi, outlining how such public wifi hotspots are very popular with young adults but they can be dangerous. The following video clip link describes some of the dangers: https://vimeo.com/142180832
PC Briggenshaw Update
Thank you to parents who attended our recent e-safety session led by PC Briggenshaw. In addition to the parental session, PC Briggenshaw also worked with a range of children from across the school.
Whilst it was apparent that many of our pupils have a good understanding of keeping personal information private and who to contact if anything online makes you feel unhappy, PC Briggenshaw highlighted that a significant number of our pupils are using a game called Roblox. Roblox is an online multiplayer game, and PC Briggenshaw has many reservations about its use, primarily, but not exclusively, the opportunity that the game presents for unrestricted communication with strangers.
As such, we advise parents not to allow children to play Roblox. We also advise parents to ensure that Internet access at home is carefully supervised at all times; Wi-Fi routers have options to restrict access to certain websites and to prevent access to the Internet beyond certain times. Devices such as tablets and mobile phones also have parental controls to ensure our children are safe.
Information and guidance about all areas of E-Safety are available online. Recommended sources include:
* Think U Know
* Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP)
* Get Safe Online
* NSPCC – Share Aware and Net Aware
* Vodaphone Digital Parenting
Our motivation for writing this letter is, as always, to ensure our children are safe and happy at all times, and we are sure you will support us in this matter.
The dangers of live streaming have been in the national news recently; you may have seen the article on the BBC news, where live streaming is described as an 'urgent threat':
We though it would be useful to direct you to information about what live streaming is and how you can keep your family safe from the risks. CEOP have produced detailed guidance on the Think U Know website that we would strongly encourage you to read:
Please do contact us in school if we can support or help with this, or any e-safety concerns you may have.
Social Media Age Limits
To keep our children safe, social networks have age limits. According to a recent survey by the NSPCC, more than half of the parents surveyed were unaware of such age restrictions. As such, we thought it would be useful to share the age limits with yourselves.
Facebook requires its users to be 13 before they create an account, including registering an account on behalf of someone.
WhatsApp The minimum age of use for WhatsApp was prevoiusly 16 but it has recently been changed to 13.
YouTube To have a YouTube account users must be 18, or 13 with parental permission.
Twitter To have a Twitter account users must be 13.
Instagram To have an Instagram account users must be 13.
At school, our pupils can be subjected to peer pressure to have access to some or all of the above listed networks. We encourage our pupils to be resilient to such pressure, remembering that there are so many more valuable and enjoyable ways to spend time. In discussion with parents, quite often the line used by pupils is, 'everyone else has it'; this, of course, isn't always the case.
We'd also like make parents aware of the dangers of pupils sharing mobile phone numbers to group chats. When shared to a group chat, all members of the group can access the mobile phone number.
We encourage our pupils to:
Zip, Block, Flag
Zip - don't give away personal information online.
Block - block people/strangers who send inappropriate messages.
Flag - tell a trusted adult if anything online makes you feel unhappy.
Many apps available for Apple, Windows or Android devices have an option called 'in-app purchasing'. In-app purchasing could take the form of extra features, characters, lives or content in a gaming app - all very tempting to a child using the app! With in-app purchasing, users could potentially end up paying a lot of money for using an app, which may well have originally been priced very cheaply or free when first downloaded.
Tips to ensure you don't receive any unexpected bills:
1. Apple users - setup restrictions on your devices to disable in-app purchases (General > Restrictions > In-app purchases), ITunes on a Mac or PC can also be configured with restrictions.
2. Android users - ensure authentication is turned on - guide from Google on preventing unwanted purchases
3. Windows 10 users - make sure you take advantage of 'family settings' - guide from Microsoft
4. Keep your App store/Windows Store/Google Play password safe, and ensure your children can't change or guess it.
Ofcom have produced a series of video guides demonstrating how to prevent shocks from bills:
Documents underpinning Furze Down School's approach to Online Safety:
Online Safety in the Furze Down Curriculum
E-safety permeates our curriculum. Whilst we strive to educate our pupils, throughout their time at school and across the curriculum, our Computer Science curriculum also contains a strand entitled 'digital literacy':
To develop Digital literacy skills
- can use technology safely and respectfully
- Keeps personal information private when using technology
- knows they should ask for help if they feel unsure about any online content or contact and who to ask
- can describe common uses of information technology beyond school
- can use technology responsibly
- can recognize acceptable / unacceptable behaviour and content
- can appreciate how search results are selected
- is selective when using digital content
- understands how computer networks can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web
- understand the opportunities computer networks offer for communication
To develop Digital literacy skills
- can understand the importance of using technology safely, respectfully and responsibly
- can identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact
- can appreciate how search results are ranked
- is discerning in evaluating digital content
- understands the basic workings of computer networks including the internet
- understands the opportunities computer networks offer for collaboration
- understands a range of ways to use technology securely, including protecting his online identity and privacy
- can recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct and know how to report concerns.
- can create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability