September 2017

 

Keeping Children Safe On-line

Dear Parents,

For reasons that are regularly discussed, we ask that our kindergarten age children do not use or be frequently exposed to the internet. However, we are legally obliged to ensure that all those who supervise children are aware of practical measures that go towards keeping children safe on-line.

Ideally children would not be exposed to the internet until they are of an age when they can make reasoned judgements of their own. However with the increasingly pervasive presence of the internet it is suggested that families use the internet together, exploring and discussing content and establishing boundaries and agreements as to how much time can be spent on-line, which websites may be visited, and understanding that what is wrong off-line is also wrong on-line.

Supervising computer use can be helped by ensuring the computer is in a busy part of the house, for example, a living room or kitchen, and that portable devices be used in the presence of parents. This may require removing portable devices for periods of time. It is important that use of internet technology does not have a negative impact on other important areas of children’s lives.

Free parental controls can be set up to ensure safer boundaries for your children and service providers will set up filtering options to block inappropriate age content. ‘Safe Search’ settings can also be applied to search engines (See the UK Safer Internet Website below). All mobile phone companies provide free parental controls and all manufacture websites of other devices outline the controls which are available. Time limiting tools are also available. Parental controls need to be updated as children get older and become more adept with computer use.

Parental controls can be password protected but it is important to remember that none of these tools are 100% effective and the best solution to keeping your child safe on the internet is a combination of controls and parental engagement and supervision.

Some websites that can help:

www.safeinternet.org.uk/parental-controls; (Contains video tutorials)
www.safeinternet.org.uk/parent-tech (Contains a Parents’Guide to Technology)
www.childnet.com/haveaconversation