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Online Safety

Children in the UK (aged 5-15) now spend over two hours online - more time than they spend watching TV (Ofcom, 2019).  Since lockdown, we know that some children are spending considerably more time online.  Do we always know what they are doing?  Do we have appropriate parental controls to keep our children safe online on their devices?  

Please read the information below to keep informed and click on the links for online safety advice.

8 top tips for children staying safe online

https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/findoutmore/help-me-out-staying-safe-online

West Sussex County Council

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/crime-prevention/staying-safe-online/

Gaming

Games are given age ratings for a good reason; many may seem harmless on the surface but may have higher age ratings because they feature strong violence, horror, illegal drug use and even sexual violence.  Children can sometimes be frightened by games and how they feel after playing them but won't tell an adult in case they take the game away.  If you are worried about children playing video games on their own, why not join them?

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/gaming-whats-appropriate-for-your-child/

Social Media

Nearly all social media services require users to be at least 13 years of age to access and use their services.  This includes the increasingly popular TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Musical.ly and Skype.  Whilst there is no restriction for watching videos on YouTube, users need to be 13 or older to have their own YouTube account (enabling them to subscribe to other channels, like videos, post comments, share their own content and flag inappropriate content).  Users need to be 16 to use WhatsApp.

https://parentzone.org.uk/article/should-tiktok-be-banned

How to report an issue on social media:

https://www.bbc.com/ownit/dont-panic/reporting-issues-social-media

Online Safety Education

Childnet has a wealth of resources for children, parents and carers with tools, advice and even a family agreement that can be used to help set boundaries.  There are also video lessons for 6-9 year olds to watch and discuss with your child.

https://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers

https://www.childnet.com/ufiles/Family-Agreement.pdf

https://www.childnet.com/resources/video-lessons

Thinkuknow also has six age-appropriate websites with advice about staying safe when you're on a phone, tablet or computer.

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

Reporting

CEOP is a law enforcement agency whose job is to keep children and young people safe from sexual exploitation and abuse.  Should you need to report a suspected incident of online grooming, report it here:

https://www.ceop.police.uk/ceop-reporting/