What is E-safety?
Children have more access than ever before, at school and at home, to many types of internet communication. It might be researching a topic for homework, using Moshi Monsters on the computer, using an app on an I-pad or playing computer games with friends through a X-Box or Wii. E-safety involves making sure that our children know the advantages and disadvantages of using this technology and that they become safe, respectful and responsible users of it.
This section of the website aims to help you to keep your child safe online. You will find some simple to follow “How to” guides for various websites and programs, information on what to do if you are concerned about something you or your child have seen online, some ways you can teach your child about keeping safe online and links to websites and services that can offer further support.
Age Ratings for Social Media
This has been shared nationwide on social media by police services across the UK:
We know that many children are using social media when they are ‘officially’ too young to sign up to these sites. We know because they tell us!
Lots of them say that Mums and Dad have signed them up - sometimes years ago. There’s nothing illegal in that, but please keep in mind that if you signed your 8 year old up to facebook 5 years ago, saying they were 13 years old - they now appear as an 18 year old on that site. If an adult tries to groom your now 13 year old via social media, they will be able to argue that they thought they were talking to another adult.
Remember to update their details, check their privacy settings and talk to them about what pictures they use for their profile, so they’re safe online.
Always remind your child not to share things like their personal details such as date of birth, home address, phone numbers, email address etc. It is very easy with Social Networking to provide too much information.
Remember that someone that really wants to, can spend time going back through old posts and pictures to piece together a very full picture of yours or your child's life, friends names, location, regular holidays, places they go regularly and personal details. There are even web based tools that will do a lot of the hard work for them.
The Tor Browser (Dark Web)
Has your child used or are they using a Tor Browser?
Beware if they are, this allows connection to what is known as the Dark Web or Dark-net. It is an alternative network of computers with high levels of encryption that allows connection to sites your internet router or parental controls may normally block and is almost impossible to trace through .
Children have been know to use the Tor browsers to bypass measures designed to keep them safe to allow them to access free to download, but illegally cracked games and software which often contains viruses and crypto-miners (bitcoin related). But the Dark Web also puts a child at a greater level of danger due to the hidden nature of how it works and what they are likely to find or who they come in to contact with.
Why does the Dark Web exist? As well documented in the media it is often connected with illegal activities such as Child Pornography, although less known is that it is also often used by people living under oppressive regimes in other countries where freedom of thought and speech is not a right. Unfortunately this gives cover and invisibility to those that wish to do bad things too.
So if you see your child using a browser that mentions Tor then have a chat with them and see why they are using it and explain why it is not a safe thing to do.
Unsure about an app or game?
Go to net-aware.org.uk - where a wide range of apps have been explored and rated by parents, children and the NSPCC to help you to make an informed decision.
Would you like support making your child’s tablet or phone child friendly - why not pop into an 02 store and visit a “Guru” free - they will safety proof your device with you and offer further tips and advice! Or you can call the advice line 0808 8005002 where an advisor will talk you through setting this up yourself.
For some great advice and tips for parents around online safety visit:
Click here for more information.