The online world can be exciting and inspiring. It has lots of opportunities to offer young people. However, as the online world evolves, so do the online risks facing children. It is important to manage and minimise the associated risks and harms. Online safety is of paramount importance, with parents and carers play a pivotal part in keeping their children safe online. Online risks do not start and stop at the school gates, and encouraging and supporting parents to become involved in their child’s online safety at home will ensure they are receiving the most complete protection they possibly can. As a school we are continuing to build on highlighting the importance of staying safe online through organising online safety workshops for pupils, staff and parents, which are informative and helpful for all.
The four c’s of online safety
Content – Some online content is not suitable for children and may be harmful or hurtful. Some content, games and services are age-rated or age-restricted. It is important for children to consider the reliability of online material and be aware that it might not be true, or written with a bias or to persuade.
Contact- It is important for children to realise that new friends made online may not be who they say they are and that once a friend is added to an online account, you may be sharing your personal information with them.
Conduct - Children need to be aware of the impact their online activity can have on themselves and other people, and the digital footprint that they create on the internet. It is easy to feel anonymous online and it is important that children are aware of who is able to view, and potentially share the information that they may have posted.
Commerce – Spending money, sharing data and being exposed to advertising or other commercial interests can happen across many apps and online platforms. Children should be aware that many of the influencers and personalities they engage with online will be paid to advertise.