The Wonderful World of the Web
Just like the real world, the Internet can be a wonderful place full of amazing information, people and ideas. However, just like the real world it also has it’s dangers, inappropriate people and misinformation.
In both worlds the good outweighs the bad and with care and education both can be safe to navigate.
There are some simple practical steps you can take to help limit the risks as well as clear advice you can give your child. The best way of doing this is to get involved and understand how your children use the Internet. Developing your knowledge of the technology involved and understanding how your child uses this technology to interact with others on the Internet will greatly assist you in guiding and supporting your children to ensure that they are using it in the safest possible manner and becoming good digital citizens.
There are no Internet Filters that will stop 100% of inappropriate material from being accessed through the Internet. The best way to keep your child from accessing this material is to set clear guidelines in relation to internet usage, when it can be used, for how long, and where they can use it (eg. In a space that you can observe them, not a bedroom where they are unobserved). Check your child’s Internet history at random times and discuss the sites they access to ensure they are appropriate sites. If the history is blank, you will need to discuss why they have deleted their history and monitor them at the time of using their machine.
Most social media sites should not be used by children under 13, however if it is being used, discuss what kind of information that they should be giving out, and that the person they think they are interacting with may be hiding their identity. Encourage them to treat other users with the same level of respect that they want people to show them. If they are uncomfortable with any of the communication they are experiencing ensure they know how to block the user and stress that they need to talk to you or their teacher to get assistance.
There are many sites that offer advice and help to parents and children and our website has links to these as well.
Teachers are continually teaching students sound educational and safe practices on the Internet and monitoring student laptops often. We do have the ability to remotely monitor the student machines. It does work best when the machines are upgraded to the latest operating system, so please download the free upgrade and install it at home if needed.
Apart from the significant educational advantage the students gain from having their own laptop, the education they receive around the ethical and safe use of technology while at this age will stand them in good stead for the more risk taking years as teenagers. The knowledge they have will enable them to make informed decisions, and hopefully enable them to make the right ones for a positive digital footprint.
Parent’s cybersafety toolbox
Want to teach your kids about online safety? Arm yourself with the right tools for the job. Visit the internet links below and have a look at the range of online resources that can help you and your children stay safe on the internet. There are games and quizzes and information for parents and children. If your child has their own laptop for school the Help button on their desktop will take them to the government cybersafety site for them to get help.
- Cyber Smart
- Digital Footprint
- Quiz-your childs online safety
- Brochures, posters and contact
- Resources to use with your children
- Understanding the technology
- Kids Matter